Gibson has filed suit against Funko over its use of Gibson-like guitar designs with their vinyl figures for various rock and metal icons.
The guitar company filed suit against the toy manufacturer in a California federal court earlier this month, reportedly after Gibson says it unsuccessfully attempted to initiate a retroactive licensing deal for the inclusion of the designs with the figures.
Gibson stated in its complaint, “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 . . . or Gibson has authorized or licensed the use by Funko of the Gibson trademarks for those products.
The suit alleges “repeated” unauthorized use of its company’s guitar designs in Funko figures, including those based on the likenesses of Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley of Kiss, and Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield — all former or current Gibson guitar clients.