Gibson Going After Funko Under The Lanham Act For Likeness

According to the website Law360, Gibson Brands Inc. sued Funko on Thursday in California federal court, arguing that it owns the trademark for the Les Paul guitar, including the use of its likeness in toys, and that the pop culture toy company didn’t seek permission for its wildly popular vinyl figures to hold Gibson-design guitars.

“The misuse of the Gibson trademarks by Funko was intended to cause, has caused, and is likely to continue to cause, consumer confusion, mistake or deception including the misleading of consumers into mistakenly believing that the defendant’s unauthorized products are made directly by Gibson pursuant to Gibson’s strict quality control standards or Gibson has authorized or licensed the use by Funko of the Gibson trademarks for those products,” the complaint says.

Gibson’s means for going after Funko stem from their figurines such as Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, ex-KISS member Ace Frehley and Metallica.

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A statement by Gibson’s lawyer says, “Despite its constructive and actual knowledge of the infringement of the Gibson trademarks by defendant’s unauthorized products, Funko has continued to provide defendant’s unauthorized products to distributors whom then sell defendant’s unauthorized products to the end consumer.”

As more develops on the case we’ll be sure to let you know.

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