Gibson Brands Inc. have filed a suit against Funko over its usage of Gibson like designed guitars with their vinyl figures for various rock and metal artists. Gibson sued Funko earlier this month 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. Funko has released figures of current and former Gibson endorsed musicians, including members of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Kiss.
Gibson Brands Inc. claims that the suit follows an unsuccesful attempt to initiate a retroactive licensing deal for the usage of their guitar designs with the vinyl figures.
“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.”