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Karl and his brother, Georg, led a small team of craftsman who designed and built the Elger Guitars in a workshop in nearby Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
They continued to hand-build exceptional quality instruments until about 1964. Rosenbloom decided to stop production of the hand-made instruments and begin importing guitars instead.
On June 28, 1977, Norlin, the parent company of Gibson, filed a lawsuit against Elger (Ibanez) in Philadelphia Federal District Court . Elger Co." with Gibson claiming trademark infringement based on the duplicate "open book" or "moustache" headstock design of the Ibanez copies.
Allegedly Gibson had threatened to sue Elger/Ibanez for a long time regarding the use of the headstock which Norlin claimed as a Gibson trademark.
The country was in the post-World War II music boom, and guitars were very popular. The Martin guitar factory was located about 70 miles from his store in Nazareth, PA, and his goal was to exceed their quality.
Like many words in our society, this one is oft used, seldom understood.Non-Free Traders take note: they were able to make these guitars affordable due to cheaper materials and labor, coupled with a higher level of automation when compared to their American counterparts. Rosenbloom figured it out early: make a guitar that looks great and similar to a big name guitar and people will buy it.This is precisely the phenomenon we see with todays Epiphones.There might be a few lawsuits with a serial number dating from November/ December 1975, but most of them will not have a serial number. Louis Music (Electra), whose guitars were made in Japan by Hoshino, offered to help with the suit.To end the action, Ibanez made an out-of-court settlement with Norlin and agreed to stop copying the Gibson headstock and using similar names for their instruments.