Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits


University Gains Control Of DIMEBAG-Designed 'Razorback' Guitar Line - May 8, 2008 reports that the University of Arkansas now has licensing control over Razorback electric guitars, commemorating late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott who was killed during a show in Columbus, Ohio.

Two Florida companies created the line and began selling the guitars after the 2004 death of Abbott. He was known for performing with a razor blade around his neck.

In 2007, the university sued, claiming the Razorback guitar brand infringed on the school's copyright. The Arkansas athletic teams bear the Razorback name.

A settlement filed on Tuesday (May 6) gives the university licensing control over the guitars, but the two companies get to keep selling them.

In an unprecedented three short years, the Razorback has become one of Dean's best selling and most recognizable guitar lines, with its barbed wire-like ultra-sharp points and massive presence. The Razorback is a 21st century form of the Classic Dean ML shape Dimebag Darrell first played over two decades ago.

In related mews, Armadillo Enterprises, parent company of Dean Guitars, has announced that Dean Zelinsky is no longer associated with the company. Mr. Zelinsky has been associated with Armadillo Enterprises and Dean Guitars since 2000.

In January 2008, Dean Guitars brought manufacturing for USA products, including Dean USA guitars and Dean USA custom pickup manufacturing, in-house at their world headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Zelinsky assisted in the transition.

Dean Guitars owner Elliott Rubinson said, "We have enjoyed working with Dean Zelinsky these past eight years, and look forward to exciting prospects at our new facility”.

Armadillo Enterprises is the parent company for Dean Guitars, Luna Guitars, Ddrum, and distributor for Nord USA.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Here's more:

FAYETTEVILLE : Guitar line gets to stay ‘Razorback’
Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has hundreds of licensees who use the word “Razorback” on items such as deer stands, blankets, wastebaskets and ponchos.

Now, electric guitars are on the list.

UA on Tuesday settled a trademark lawsuit with two Florida companies who market and sell the Dean brandname line of Razorback guitars.

The line is named after slain heavy-metal guitarist “Dimebag Darrell” Abbott, who wore a razor blade around his neck while on stage.

In 2007, UA sued Concordia Investment Partners Inc. and Armadillo Distribution Enterprises Inc., claiming trademark infringement over the sale of the Razorback gui- tar line.

The suit initially sought an injunction, but the settlement Tuesday in U. S. District Court in Fayetteville satisfied both sides, according to documents.

UA gets licensing control over the guitars, and the defendants get to keep selling them in stores and over the Internet — albeit only though a wholesaler licensed by UA.

“The UA always seeks to protect its trademarks and intellectual property, and we believe the settlement in this accomplishes that,” said Scott Varady, UA general counsel. “It’s a positive outcome for both parties that lets UA protect its marks, and lets the defendants receive a license to use the marks.” In the suit, UA argued that use of the “word mark” Razorback implied a connection to UA’s sports teams. By the defendants using the word without permission, they were erroneously suggesting their products are endorsed and affiliated with UA, the suit claimed.

“We’re very pleased to resolve the suit this way,” said Art Fisher III, the Tampa, Fla., attorney for the defendants. “This guitar is a tremendously well-accepted model that brings a great deal of profits.” Fisher didn’t disclose the profits.

The settlement requires the defendants to continue marketing high-quality products that aren’t obscene or defamatory, according to the settlement agreement.

It also gives the companies exclusive license to use the Razorback mark on goods like Tshirts, caps and jackets, in conjunction with two of the words, “Dimebag,” “ Darrell” and “Abbott.” The settlement requires the companies to pay UA a $ 50 annual licensing fee.

The disputed guitar, which has beveled edges and barbed points, has the word Razorback on the head stock, Fisher said.

“Instead of a dog tag, ‘Dimebag’ wore a razor blade as a necklace,” he said. “After he died, the guitar-makers paid tribute to him with a custom guitar. They kicked around a bunch of names and the razor theme stuck. That’s what they decided on.” Abbott played for the Texasbased heavy metal band Pantera. He was shot and killed in December 2004 while performing with his new band Damageplan when a gunman stormed a stage in Columbus, Ohio. Three others were killed before police shot and killed the assailant.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 07:41 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Who would have thought a University would gain control of the Razorback? Looks like Dean will have to either change the name or pay royalties.

It's interesting to see Dean Zalinsky leave the company (again). Anyone know why he left?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

I'm quite surprised the university was able to pull this off. Does that mean the university owns all razorback pigs in the world as well? Do they own the rights to the classic Aussie gory movie of the same name, which gave me friggin' nightmares when I was a kid? Maybe I can sue them for the trauma.

I would think a case like this would rely on demonstrating that Dean used the word "Razorback" to intentionally link the product to the team. This is obviously not the case. The university didn't invent the word - I think it's kind of cheap of them to cash in on the popularity of the Dimebag guitar in this way. Some argue that Dean are doing the same thing by releasing so many models Dime never played, but what the university is doing feels a little bit off... like a builder of car fenders trying to take a cut from every Fender guitar sold or something.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 08:48 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

How about change the name? Maybe the Dimebag Razor???

Seems silly that a University would do stuff like that. I would be more concerned about ensuring that the students are getting a GREAT education rather than fighting out in court the licensing of a guitar???
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 08:56 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

This is lame. I hate when companies (now universities) try to act like anything similarily named to their name is trying to use their name to sale more of a product.

I'm sure Dean never even thought people would buy more guitars because it's linked to the university. Also, I never even thought about it as linked to the University of Arkansas. I'm sure most people didn't.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:02 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Nah thats way to logical.
Privitised educations just another corperation anyway.

My Uni owned dam near a third of the city that it was in, and buildings in all other majour citys in the country.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Next they're going to claim ownership of the back half of Razor scooters.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:30 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

I agree, it would be one thing if Dean were making guitars with the UA logo on them, but this is a little ridiculous. I don't blame the university for zealously defending their intellectual property, but if I were the judge I would have made the other decision.

A side note-- I live on the Olympic Peninsula and there are many businesses with the name "Olympic." The USOC allows them to use the name as long as they limit their advertising to local markets. Olympic Cellars wants to take orders for their wines over the internet, but they are being blocked.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:41 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Yeah, this whole thing is sheer b.s.. I mean, I loathe Dean for picking Dime's bones like they have with the guitar lines, but COME ON. HTF can anybody in their right mind see a correlation between the two. Who's the headmaster, there? Gene Simmons?!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Originally Posted by Racerx2k View Post
Who's the headmaster, there? Gene Simmons?!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 09:56 PM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Moneygrab U. THe NCAA is pretty lame in that they're one of the biggest explotative organization in modern times. Think of how much corporate sponsorship they rake in with Final Four, Frozen Four, Bowl games blah blah blah...and add to that the fact that they make money handoverfist fromunpaid student athletes.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 12:16 AM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Lame indeed. It's a pretty bogus ruling because there is clearly no tie-in between the guitar and UA. In fact, the person on the street (except in Arkansas) wouldn't know the team the UA Razorbacks at all.

But paying a $50 royalty per year is nothing. Although if they were only demanding $50 a year royalty, how serious were they infringed in the first place?

I agree with johliatay, they should just have changed it to the Dime Razor or something and told UA to f off.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 12:45 AM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

ohhhh, you mean dean will be making less money off Dime's name now, what a pity.. /sarcasm
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 02:55 AM
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Re: Dean loses control of 'Razorbacks', Dean Z quits

Does anyone know if this a worldwide issue? I mean, many folks outside of the USA, won't even have heard of Arkansas, let alone the name of their university sports team!!!

Or is this similar to the way that ESP could still make their explorer style guitars for the Japanese domestic market? Thus the US models may be caught by the legal action, but if toll manufacture in Asia is used to produce and not supply the US then it would be outside?

Any lawyers in the house?
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