Judge denies Gibson’s motion to find Dean in contempt of court

Gibson had alleged that Dean’s parent company, Armadillo, had failed to comply with a court order.

Dean Headstock

Image: Deborah Brock / Alamy

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A judge has denied Gibson’s motion to find Dean’s parent company Armadillo in contempt of court. Following the landmark ruling in Gibson’s favour, which found Armadillo had infringed on Gibson’s trademarked guitar body shapes, Gibson had argued that Dean had failed to comply with the court order by continuing to advertise the infringing guitars such as the V and Z.

Gibson’s initial claim argued that Dean’s website and social media still advertised the guitars via product catalogues and showcase videos. Gibson’s filing led to a court hearing on 31 October, which preceded the new order filed today (8 November), signed by US district judge Amos L Mazzant.

At this hearing, according to the order, “the parties informed the Court that they had resolved almost all the issues raised in Gibson’s contempt motions.” Additionally, “any new arguments that were raised in the pending motion were resolved by the parties.”

The ruling concludes: “Gibson’s emergency motion is therefore moot.”

Effectively, the court has found that any issues regarding Dean’s continued promotion of the guitars were resolved without it needing to get involved. Some of the evidence for this, we can see ourselves: for the product catalogue that was linked from Dean’s website, and advertised numerous V and Z guitars, has now been taken offline. The image of a Dean V that was on the now-defunct Dean V portion of the Dean website has also gone.

This may be a victory for Armadillo, but what the future holds for the company and Dean’s guitars is still unclear. After the trademark ruling was put in place by the court, CEO Evan Rubinson dramatically exited Armadillo and began a legal battle with his mother, Pamela Keris-Rubinson, who had taken over his role. Additionally, in August, Armadillo appealed against the main trademark ruling, making the case between Dean and Gibson anything but closed.

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