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Thread: Music Man/Schecter Connection?

  1. #1

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    Music Man/Schecter Connection?

    I have noticed that Schecter guitars (at least the C-1 SLS Elite) has what looks like a MM compensated nut and the same truss rod adjustment wheel. Is there a connection between the two companies? Or are those items not patented and Schecter is just copying them?
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  2. #2

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    A lot of companies use a truss rod wheel these days; even if EBMM had patented their version of it the patent would have expired in the mid-2000s as patents last 17 or 20 years (not sure when it changed from 17 to 20 years). Plus I'm not sure they could have patented it since I've seen that style truss rod adjuster on 1960s European and Japanese guitars, but they could have trademarked their version of it.

    Off the top of my head Peavey started using the truss rod wheel in the mid-1990s when EVH moved over there; it eventually spread from the Wolfgang to their other models. And the design came to FMIC when EVH moved there - so now it shows up on all EVH Gear models, all Charvel production models, and some Jackson models. It was even on the Fender American Elite series of 2016-2019, but is no longer on any Fender-branded instrument series.

    Same with compensated nuts - EBMM has their design, and other companies have their versions. I think EBMMs would still be under their patent for a few more years - so Schecter could have their own version of it that would be slightly different than EBMMs version, or they might license EBMMs version.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the great info John C!
    2013 SbMM AX30D Natural Quilt Maple (1 0f 1 2008 Prototype)
    2014 SbMM JP100D BKOA Vintage Burst/Koa FOR SALE
    2015 SbMM JP100D MKOA Vintage Burst/Koa FOR SALE
    2005 EBMM Axis Super Sport Rosewood Top/Rosewood Neck - Hardtail
    2019 SbMM Albert Lee - Trans Walnut...Now Olympic White - HSH Mod - Dimarzio Virtual PAF/FS1/Virtual PAF
    2017 SbMM LK100D LUKE - Black Metallic - Stock - Dimarzio Transition pups - Now has Liquifire/Crunch Lab set

  4. #4

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    The first truss rod wheels that I'm aware of were on Japanese guitars in the 1960s. It's not a Music Man thing.

    Yes, Schecter have Ernie Ball compensated nuts on some guitars.

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  5. #5

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    Ernie ball patent on compensated nut did not survive court scrutiny- deemed void.
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  6. #6

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    Schecter uses the Ernie Ball compensated nut, and the Schecter Diamond Series models come strung with Ernie Ball strings.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks guys!
    2013 SbMM AX30D Natural Quilt Maple (1 0f 1 2008 Prototype)
    2014 SbMM JP100D BKOA Vintage Burst/Koa FOR SALE
    2015 SbMM JP100D MKOA Vintage Burst/Koa FOR SALE
    2005 EBMM Axis Super Sport Rosewood Top/Rosewood Neck - Hardtail
    2019 SbMM Albert Lee - Trans Walnut...Now Olympic White - HSH Mod - Dimarzio Virtual PAF/FS1/Virtual PAF
    2017 SbMM LK100D LUKE - Black Metallic - Stock - Dimarzio Transition pups - Now has Liquifire/Crunch Lab set

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    A lot of companies use a truss rod wheel these days; even if EBMM had patented their version of it the patent would have expired in the mid-2000s as patents last 17 or 20 years (not sure when it changed from 17 to 20 years). Plus I'm not sure they could have patented it since I've seen that style truss rod adjuster on 1960s European and Japanese guitars, but they could have trademarked their version of it.

    Off the top of my head Peavey started using the truss rod wheel in the mid-1990s when EVH moved over there; it eventually spread from the Wolfgang to their other models. And the design came to FMIC when EVH moved there - so now it shows up on all EVH Gear models, all Charvel production models, and some Jackson models. It was even on the Fender American Elite series of 2016-2019, but is no longer on any Fender-branded instrument series.

    Same with compensated nuts - EBMM has their design, and other companies have their versions. I think EBMMs would still be under their patent for a few more years - so Schecter could have their own version of it that would be slightly different than EBMMs version, or they might license EBMMs version.
    FYI, patents went from 17 years from date of issuance (the date the USPTO publishes the allowed patent) to 20 years from earliest priority date (the application filing date if it's not a continuation of an earlier application) in 1992. For one-off patents, practically that means ~17 years of validity, as it usually takes 2-3 years from filing until issuance. At this point, anything issued pre-92 is long expired, and practically anything filed prior to 2000 is expired. BTW, there are also design patents, but those expire 14 years from issuance (15 years for design patents that issued starting mid-2015), so those would be long since done for EBMM's wheel.

    Trademark protection would be tough, because the wheel design is largely functional. You can't trademark functional aspects of a design.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjayjay View Post
    FYI, patents went from 17 years from date of issuance (the date the USPTO publishes the allowed patent) to 20 years from earliest priority date (the application filing date if it's not a continuation of an earlier application) in 1992. For one-off patents, practically that means ~17 years of validity, as it usually takes 2-3 years from filing until issuance. At this point, anything issued pre-92 is long expired, and practically anything filed prior to 2000 is expired. BTW, there are also design patents, but those expire 14 years from issuance (15 years for design patents that issued starting mid-2015), so those would be long since done for EBMM's wheel.

    Trademark protection would be tough, because the wheel design is largely functional. You can't trademark functional aspects of a design.
    Thanks for the summarization - being as I don't work in the legal field I have only read a bit about patent durations, etc.

    My only thought of a trademark on the wheel was the specific shape EBMM uses, as most other companies use a wheel that is a slightly different shape. But of course that is likely also dependent on the shape of the neck pocket, neck heel dimensions, etc. of each company who is using a wheel adjuster.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    Thanks for the summarization - being as I don't work in the legal field I have only read a bit about patent durations, etc.

    My only thought of a trademark on the wheel was the specific shape EBMM uses, as most other companies use a wheel that is a slightly different shape. But of course that is likely also dependent on the shape of the neck pocket, neck heel dimensions, etc. of each company who is using a wheel adjuster.
    No problem, happy to provide the info.

    Specific non-functional aspects of the wheel shape could _possibly_ be trademarked, but you're right that the question of whether it's non-functional likely depends on a number of other related factors.
    2018 EBMM Axis BFR in Steel Blue
    2021 EBMM Sabre BFR in Coral Blue Burst
    2020 SbMM Axis in White
    2021 SbMM Axis in Neptune Blue
    ...and some other, lesser, non-MM guitars.

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