This includes decent brands too.

How do Yamaha get away with their "Strats"? How does Vintage get away with its "Les Pauls"?

Now I reckon the Vintages have a slightly different shaped cutaway, and the other "shoulder?" may be different, but if you cut off the headstocks on these sort of guitars, you would definitely identify them as a Strat/LP.

So how have they not been sued yet?
Because they are licensed to do so or are owned by the original company itself.

EDIT: not all are knock-offs, look at jackson for example which is owned by fender.
also as long as it's slightly different they can get away with it.

Edit: and most of them have been sued, so they changed from being complete ripoffs to ever so slightly different.
If it were more vague, companys would be sued for their original guitar. For example, i saw a Washburn that looked like a telecaster AND a les paul, they'd get sued by Gibson and Fender lol
Curves on guitars are slightly deeper or shallower, meaning it's not the same.
Usually the head stocks are different from the originals unless licensed to use the shape. Sometimes the body might be a little different like the lower horn on an LP copy might be sharp rather than rounded like the original. As long as the knockoff is slightly different it's OK other wise 50% of knockoff guitars would not exist can you imagine if Fender could stop other companies from using the Strat shape. There are more cheap Strat shaped knockoffs out there than any other. Also look at all the V and Explorer shaped guitars out there if Gibby could have stopped those that would pretty much put the other companies out of business.

the general shape of those two famous bodys was not copyrighted or pattented early enough. by the time they realized that they should protect their image and likeness that there were so many imitations by other companies it could not be patented because so many have used it as their own, totally legally. fender was able to trademark the shape of their headstock which is why you see so many spot on strat copies but they all have wierd looking (to me anyway) non fender headstocks.
Last edited by MichaelOfCanton at Jan 29, 2009,