Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sangemon

C.F. Martin victim of trademark nightmare

Recommended Posts

Happy New year! Welcome to the wonderful world of "Free Trade"!

 

C.F. Martin executives got an unwelcome surprise when they arrived in Shanghai for Music China this past October: Another C.F. Martin had set up shop in the trade show hall.


The exhibit bore the Martin & Co. logo, down to the tag line "Est. 1833," and featured dead ringers of several best-selling Martin guitars. And yet the company had no relation to C.F. Martin.


"Like many other American companies, C.F. Martin & Co. Inc. has become the victim of unauthorized registration of its traditional trademark and of counterfeiting of its products in the People's Republic of China," said a statement C.F. Martin released after the international trade show.

 

Discuss. :snax:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is the US even trading with the PRC?

 

It's a very warped place.

 

Its industrial rise was financed by Japan & the West.

 

And now, it shows its gratitude. Remember that, next time you shop at Wal-Mart.

 

This sort of trade name infringement is very common.

 

But to be so brazen as to claim CF Martin's booth at a trade show. That's taking it to a whole new level.

 

"On our national level, this is really very difficult," Bienstock explained. "We have a very reluctant set of legislators who don't want to press China too hard, considering that we've just borrowed trillions of dollars from them.


"So, they don't want to press them for [intellectual property] recognition. But in a world where we make products

there and all we have is our brand, if they already have the manufacturing, then if they register the brand in China,

they own the brand, too."

 

BTW, there is more than just the trade name infringement issue.

The Chinese CF Martin company might still might be found liable for infringement

of patented or copyrighted design features. And CF Martin by-all-means should sue

in a US Court. At least, they can get a judgment in their favor, whatever else they collect.

 

And if those things are sold outside borders, real world rules on intellectual property start to apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well its Sad that happens with such items and also as we all know happens with many other items also and i normally know which Countries i feel to be dodgy regards such

 

reason i wouldnt buy a guitar made from such a Country personally

 

nothing against vast majority of Chinese people BUT admit their Country

does have the name for selling at times dodgy items sad as it is..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, how do they sound, I wonder? I found a fake Martin D28 in a pawnshop about 3 yrs ago. It was a total POS.

 

See. Now this is exactly the problem. They probably sound OK, many Chinese guitars sound OK. But they are not Martins. As for them sounding OK? You may think that's OK, but it's not. That is not the point. They are stealing Martin's logo, brand, and reputation. It's not OK.

 

How would you like it if someone wrote a {censored}ty song and put your name, and your face on it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See. Now this is exactly the problem. They probably sound OK, many Chinese guitars sound OK. But they are not Martins. As for them sounding OK? You may think that's OK, but it's not. That is not the point. They are stealing Martin's logo, brand, and reputation. It's not OK.


How would you like it if someone wrote a {censored}ty song and put your name, and your face on it?

 

Actually, the Chinese CF Martin is not stealing. That is why it is so disgusting.

The PRC government has sanctioned what they did. Theft is a legal concept.

And under the law of the PRC, that company didn't steal anything.

 

Now that gives you an idea of what kind of place it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See. Now this is exactly the problem. They probably sound OK, many Chinese guitars sound OK. But they are not Martins. As for them sounding OK? You may think that's OK, but it's not. That is not the point. They are stealing Martin's logo, brand, and reputation. It's not OK.


How would you like it if someone wrote a {censored}ty song and put your name, and your face on it?

I didn't say I thought it was "OK". Just wondering about whether this was a credible attempt to replicate Martin build quality--like Takamine used to do with their Martin and Guild knock-offs (of course Takamine used their own name in those cases).

 

And if anyone ever tries to market music by putting my name on it, then I will know I have arrived!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the U.S. and China are member states of the Permanent Court Of Arbitration, based in The Hague in the Netherlands. Martin should plead with their case there, with government backing if possible, on their own if necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That really sucks for everyone, these things end up being sold all over the place. Be even more carefull when buying.

 

Doing business with China is slicing your own throat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is the US even trading with the PRC?


It's a very warped place.


Its industrial rise was financed by Japan & the West.


And now, it shows its gratitude. Remember that, next time you shop at Wal-Mart.


This sort of trade name infringement is very common.


But to be so brazen as to claim CF Martin's booth at a trade show. That's taking it to a whole new level.




BTW, there is more than just the trade name infringement issue.

The Chinese CF Martin company might still might be found liable for infringement

of patented or copyrighted design features. And CF Martin by-all-means should sue

in a US Court. At least, they can get a judgment in their favor, whatever else they collect.


And if those things are sold outside borders, real world rules on intellectual property start to apply.

 

^ this.

 

...and it doesn't matter what they sound like because they are fakes, just like those fake Gibsons that show up on ebay.

 

FWIW I don't mind buying everyday items that are MIC - you can't really get around it since they own most of our national debt anyway - but for "big ticket" items I prefer to go with items that either have a proven track record or are made closer to home.

 

BTW, those Japanese Martin knock-offs that were made 30-40 years ago predate Martin's Sigma operation and were made by CFM IV's father as a cost-cutting measure. IIRC there were no legal actions taken against the other MIJ companies beyond a "cease and desist" letter. When CFM IV took the helm he noticed that a lot of the Sigmas coming in to the Martin factory in Nazareth were failing the QC checks. For every guitar that passed there was something like 2 or 3 that needed major re-working. CFM IV decided that it'd be cheaper to discontinue the Sigma line and open up a dedicated low-end factory in Mexico. I assume that many people from Nazareth made the trip there - as opposed to some midnight phone calls to a vendor who was authorized to build on their behalf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

China answers to nobody and seems to have a complete disregard for intellectual property rights. Unless (or until, I guess...) you're willing to go to war with them the only option is to lie back and enjoy the ream.

 

Counterfeiting is a great strategy for them. No R&D budget, no marketing budget, no customer complaints, no warrantees. Plus the added bonus that each container load they ship will put at least a handful of people in the target country out of business.

 

So they're beating the rest of the world with their own greed. You WANT to buy a guitar from a reputable builder in your own country, but instead you pay 30% less for one from China (or Taiwan etc...). I'm not saying that's wrong, but don't kid yourself about the ACTUAL cost of the instrument to your country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the U.S. and China are member states of the Permanent Court Of Arbitration, based in The Hague in the Netherlands. Martin should plead with their case there, with government backing if possible, on their own if necessary.

 

I don't think the court you speak of has jurisdiction over disputes between companies in different nations. It arbitrates disputes between nations, nations & private interests in other nations.

 


The PCA is an intergovernmental organization with over one hundred member states. Established in 1899
to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states
, the PCA has developed into a modern, multi-faceted arbitral institution that is now perfectly situated at the juncture between public and private international law to meet the rapidly evolving dispute resolution needs of the international community. Today the PCA provides services for the resolution of
disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties
.

 

Martin should sue the company in the US, get a judgment. The US OTOH, should prepare for war. It's coming in our lifetimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think the court you speak of has jurisdiction over disputes between companies in different nations. It arbitrates disputes between nations, nations & private interests in other nations.




Martin should sue the company in the US, get a judgment. The US OTOH, should prepare for war. It's coming in our lifetimes.

You may be right. I thought I read somewhere that RCA sought arbitration with China one time though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Martin should sue the company in the US, get a judgment. The US OTOH, should prepare for war. It's coming in our lifetimes.

 

Oy. Doesn't anybody remember their history? Cheap Japanese knock-offs? This is how commerce evolves. The Japanese now produce quality goods that compete on their own merits.

 

Of course, there has never been trademark infringement in the US, right? Ask any collector of vintage Martins if they've ever encountered a Martin-clone. A US-made Martin clone, made in the 19th century.

 

Chinese consumers are the ones hurt by infringement like this. As they become more wealthy, they will become more powerful, and Chinese corruption will be reduced. At least, that's the way it worked here and elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's pretty sad, though unfortunately, it's not especially uncommon. Remember that TradeTang site that sells "Gibsons" for a couple hundred bucks? It looks like they're widening their horizons, and they have Gretsch, Martin, Rickenbacker, and Fender guitars for bargain prices too. Such a deal :rolleyes:.

 

But setting up a booth at a guitar show? That's pretty low. Definitely a shot below the belt, and I'd be interested in knowing what action the real C.F. Martin Co. takes against the impostors. Since it's a trans-national dispute, I can't imagine they'd be able to do much.

 

Case in point:

 

A few months ago, some Italian company sued the city of Chicago because the city hadn't taken sufficient action to stop the sale of counterfeit purses at Maxwell Street. And that was the last I ever heard about the lawsuit. I'm guessing it either went nowhere or got settled outside of court :idk:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You almost have this right. However, you seem to be ignoring the trademark theft. It is the theft by deception of counterfitting the name, not cloning the item under a different name. At least that is what I get out of this pathetic situation.

 

Back in the wild-west days of the US, makers would blatantly use the marks of others in the same way. You can find old guitars with Martin marks that weren't made by Martin.

 

There are already respectable Chinese guitars made that don't infringe on anybody's marks. So we are talking about one rogue company. Not a rogue nation or a rogue people.

 

Corruption happens. It still happens in the US, but to a much lesser extent than it used to.

 

I can understand the outrage, but I'm more outraged by the US Navy dumping toxic waste into my local waters, the nuclear mess at Hanford, etc. than I am about Chinese Martin knock-offs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the wild-west days of the US, makers would blatantly use the marks of others in the same way. You can find old guitars with Martin marks that weren't made by Martin.


There are already respectable Chinese guitars made that don't infringe on anybody's marks. So we are talking about one rogue company. Not a rogue nation or a rogue people.


Corruption happens. It still happens in the US, but to a much lesser extent than it used to.


I can understand the outrage, but I'm more outraged by the US Navy dumping toxic waste into my local waters, the nuclear mess at Hanford, etc. than I am about Chinese Martin knock-offs.

 

I wouldn't necessarily single out the USA and exclude China if we're talking about negative impact on the environment. I thought a big part of their ability to dump products in markets across the world at unreasonably low prices was the fact that they don't have to give a flying f**k about what they do to the earth in the process and they don't answer to anyone for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the gigantic scale of the guitar industry in China I would like to know where the wood is coming from. Since China now owns so much of the world, they could be just stripping forests in poor countries and leaving a barren mess. The cost to the manufacturer would be ridiculously low. Unless they have some sort of environmental and social agenda to accompany their supply chain (hahahahaha).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...