Gibson Returns Oberheim Trademark & Brand To Tom Oberheim

Synth design pioneer Tom Oberheim

In a gesture of goodwill, Gibson and its President and CEO, James “JC” Curleigh, have granted possession of the Oberheim brand and intellectual property back to its original owner and company founder, synthesizer pioneer Tom Oberheim.

Gibson has owned the Oberheim brand name for years, as it sought to expand into other categories. In recent years, though, Gibson has returned to focusing on its core business – and company CEO James Curleigh says that the Oberheim brand deserved special attention.

“Of the many stories I have heard and decisions I have made since joining Gibson, this situation seemed simple,” says Curleigh. “Let’s do the right thing by putting the Oberheim brand back in the hands of its namesake founder Tom Oberheim.”

Tom Oberheim with fellow instrument design pioneers and international superballers Roger Linn & Dave Smith, on a private jet to a Gearfest.

“After over thirty years of being without it, I am thrilled to once again be able to use the Oberheim trademark for my products,” says Oberheim. “I am very grateful to the new leadership team of Gibson for making this possible.”

Oberheim continues to make analog synthesizers that are direct descendants of the legendary Oberheim machines from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Gibson says that it’s “excited to have Tom Oberheim officially be able to use his trademark once again and wish him the best for the future.”

29 thoughts on “Gibson Returns Oberheim Trademark & Brand To Tom Oberheim

  1. Good. I’m glad that Behringer’s attempts to take over the Oberheim name and logo failed, and that the final outcome was that Gibson returned the brand to Tom. Classy move.

  2. Well, Gibson had no use for the brand, so it’s not like it cost them anything. In return, they’re getting some promotion. Whatever the case, I’m proud to possess a made in USA SG Special: there’s something special (sorry for the pun) about Gibsons!

  3. At the time he decided to sell his brand name and assets for money.
    Happy, for him, to hear that he now can use it back for free, but Gibson was not the Evil.
    And also, in the same business law, Behringer tried to purchase a brand in a legit way.

    1. The USPTO examiner shut down Behringer’s attempt by pointing out that Oberheim was the name of a famous designer in the industry and that he had not given his permission to use his name.

  4. Great info. But, except OB6 from DSi do Oberheim have any product on the market? Two Voice take down for, other oberheim monosynths taken down probably too. So, far only Behriner UBX is coming.

    1. No synths that I’ve heard about but I suppose this opens the door for an up-to-date redux of classic synths… a 2020 version of an OB8 or OBx might be possible (??)

      1. Well Bob Moog has been dead for a few years too, but he is still releasing products every year (after his legacy)…same with 2 Pac and demo tapes.

  5. Does this mean someone can build the F.A.R. synthesizer without being persecuted in the legal system by the Gibson company?

  6. welp, that’s ONE decent thing from Gibson is all these years.
    keep em coming. it’s not like they did anything, much less anything worthwhile,
    with all those brands for all those years.

  7. I wonder if Gibson will ever do anything with the Slingerland drum brand again? They made super expensive, high end, custom built drum sets in the late 90s. Then they closed up shop a couple of years after the turn of the century. It would be nice to see that brand back in production some day.

    1. THIS IS NOT TRUE. He never came out with any “Eurorack stuff”. Tom stopped making SEMs and TVP over a year ago. If you are going to post information on the internet, take two seconds to research and make sure it is accurate.

    1. I loved Vision! I used to drive by the headquarters in Mountain View, CA and remember the shock of seeing it shuttered but had no idea what had happened until years later.

  8. Nice move by Gibson.

    Wonder if UB is dancing right now. Gibson had the funds to defend their trademark if they wanted to.

  9. I’m glad that Sequential and Oberheim are back to their respective principals, as it should be. 😉

    (Even if it may have been their fault for losing control of their marks in the first place…)

    Looking forward to a new genuine Oberheim synth!

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