Just when you thought it would not get any worse for Gibson, German company Tronical, that partnered with the Nashville- based company, is suing the iconic guitar company for $50 million (ouch).
This comes at a very difficult time for the company. They also face major battles to avoid administration as debt threatens to end the once iconic company. The same company who endorses such influential musicians as Slash, Jimmy Page(Led Zeppelin) and much more.
So what happened to Gibson?
Gibson partnered with Tronical to feature its auto-tuning device on guitars. The German company had their case against Gibson pending before the Hamburg State Court since December 2017.
This comes after their auto-tuning system appeared on the companies controversial 2015 range. Marketed under the name “G-Force”, the range garnered mixed reviews, with majority of fans angry with the addition to all upcoming models.
This, including the whopping twenty-nine per cent price increase, caused sales to plummet dramatically.
In a statement issued to MusicRadar, Tronical CEO Chris Adams quotes.
“Tronical is claiming licensing fees to the amount of $23 million from the share in the profits agreed in the contract. A further $27 million on the grounds of Gibson’s breach of contract of the exclusive research and development agreement with Tronical, which Gibson should have met by 2026.”
The company must pay $375 million, due on the 23rd of July.
This isn’t their first rodeo.
In 2009 and 2011, agents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) raided their factories. Originally, in November 2009, authorities found illegally imported ebony wood from Madagascar.
In 2011, wood imports from India ended up seized due to mislabeling on the US Customs Declaration.
A settlement was made in August 2012 and agreed to pay a fine of $300,00 in addition to a $50,000 community payment. All woods forfeited, which were valued the same as the settlement amount.