For over 200 years, the role of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been to promote and encourage the progress of science and the useful arts through the issuance of patents and trademarks. Through the registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses such as those in the music industry in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace.
The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company has regularly been invited to participate at the prestigious USPTO Expo in Alexandria, Virginia. Bigsby has presented information on the company’s history and has showcased the importance of Bigsby trademarks and the impact they have as source identifiers in the marketplace. Like most effective trademarks, the very shape of Bigsby tailpieces identifies them, even at a distance when the brand name cannot be read. This allows Bigsby-equipped guitars to be recognized on concert stages and video broadcasts worldwide.
Currently, Bigsby and the Gretsch Company are honored to have an authentic Bigsby Vibrato tailpiece on permanent display at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria. The display also includes a counterfeit tailpiece to help demonstrate the type of imitation products that can be found in the marketplace. Appearing similar at first glance, counterfeit products undermine and devalue genuine products. The display serves as a reminder of the battle and value of protecting patents and trademarks.
"The USPTO team enthusiastically supports rights owners through attendance at NAMM shows, their national expo, and an extensive online web site." company owner Fred Gretsch. "We encourage the music industry to make good use of these exceptional resources. We are also very pleased to have a Bigsby Vibrato product on permanent display at their headquarters so that visitors can see the challenge that counterfeit products present. We take the protection of intellectual property rights very seriously and appreciate the USPTOs assistance by providing information and education to the public."
In addition to their ongoing intellectual property protection efforts, the Gretsch Company, along with other leading musical instrument manufacturers, is a member of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition-a group of like-minded organizations that came together with the goal of stemming the proliferation of counterfeit instruments and goods wherever they are manufactured.