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Question On Patents And Adding My Logo


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Hey guys, I have a question about a copyright and patent issue and use of logos. I’ve read through the copyright thread and I didn’t find anything that really helped with my situation. I have a customer who has a Schecter Custom Synester that he wants HEAVILY modified. I have no problem with any of the work, but I also want recognition for the work, and he even wants my logo on it. I’m overhauling the electronics completely and adding a middle humbucker, adding a sustainer, and adding a midi system as phase 1. For phase two I will be replacing the fretboard and having a custom inlay done, planning down the body and head stock a little and adding a quilted maple cap, repainting the entire thing and adding inlay to the head stock. I’ll also be moddifiying the comfort cuts a little and adding some around the neck.

So basically the shape of the body and the headstock are staying the same. The body and the neck are still factory made. But beyond that it is going to be completely customized. Because of the shape I feel that I have to either leave the Schecter logo on the front or not use any at all on the front. But I do want it to be known that it is my work. I could add my logo on the back of the headstock, but that doesn’t do much for me. What makes it tougher is that he is not playing the local bar scene, but is going to be going out on tour as an opening act for some larger name bands. So it will be seen be the fans and by people in the business, so it is possible for Schecter to see it and get pissed.

Can anyone offer advice on what they would do? Like I said, I want the recognition but I understand the legal ramifications and don’t want to get myself into trouble either.

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I doubt you would have much of a legal issue for one guitar, maybe an ethical one. Even if Schecter did take legal action, the most they could do is issue a cease and desist letter telling you to never do it again. They could not force the owner to have it changed.

If you want to play it safe, you could put your logo on as long as it said, in small type, "Customized by". You could go further and use something like "Schecter customized by". No one except total guitar geeks :D is going to notice the small type. With them you would be displaying your honesty as well as your work.

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If you want to play it safe, you could put your logo on as long as it said, in small type, "Customized by". You could go further and use something like "Schecter customized by". No one except total guitar geeks :D is going to notice the small type. With them you would be displaying your honesty as well as your work.

+1

I was thinking the exact same thing as I read the OP.

SR

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i think that is the ideal solution, its what john birch used to do to a lot of gibsons... sometimes removing the original logo

i wouldnt consider just using your logo on the face of the headstock, because i always save that honour for stuff i have done from scratch. Its relatively unimportant now whilst my guitars have little second hand value, but if i ever got to the stage were my guitars were fetching large sums secondhand, and a guitar i had modified was being sold as one i had built from scratch then a buyer might be miffed to find out it was a WV modded guitar rather than a WV made guitar

i know its only hypothetical, but i find its more straight forward to be upfront from the start

i do however sometimes put logos in other places if requested, usually with a note in a cavity to state when the work was carried out

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I will be replacing the fretboard and having a custom inlay done, planning down the body and head stock a little and adding a quilted maple cap, repainting the entire thing and adding inlay to the head stock. Ill also be moddifiying the comfort cuts a little and adding some around the neck.
These are some major modifications, surely the price would not be far off a full build from you?

It would seem easier to just build a guitar from scratch, then you have no problems with the logo and if there is a chance of it being seen at gigs with big names at then you could even take a bit of a hit on the price for some publicity.

and why did that guy buy a signature guitar and then have it heavily customised... :D

Edited by Neil Beith
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It would seem easier to just build a guitar from scratch,

Ditto on the scratch build.

If you do end up customizing it, just leave the Schecter logo alone. Or better yet, sand it off completely. Then shell out a few bucks for some nice T-shirts with your logo on them. Ask him to wear them to his gigs. Take some nice gig pics...there you go. :D

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I offered the scratch idea, but he likes the way this one feels and is pretty happy with the tone, so he just want to modify it. I've explained the tone will change, but he is okay with that and still just wants to go with a modification.

Thanks for the help with this guys.I can always count on the guys around here to be straight shooters. If I wanted sugar coated I would go to Dunkin Donuts. :D

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