Behringer Oberheim Trademark Registration Refused, Because It ‘Falsely Suggests A Connection With Tom Oberheim’

Behringer head Uli Behringer

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has refused an attempt by Behringer/MusicTribe to register a trademark for ‘Behringer Oberheim‘.

On Thursday, the USPTO published a ‘Notice Of Non-Final Action‘ that states that they are refusing the trademark application.

The USPTO determined that the term ‘Behringer Oberheim’ may falsely suggest a connection with Tom Oberheim. They note that, “Although the person is not connected with the goods provided by applicant under the applied-for mark, Tom Oberheim is so well-known that consumers would presume a connection.”

The refusal notes that “The evidence indicates that, due to his fame in the relevant electronic music instrument industry, the surname Oberheim uniquely and unmistakably points to Tom Oberheim and a connection with Tom Oberheim would be presumed when applicant’s mark is used on its goods.”

Behringer has previously announced plans to make inexpensive copies of the Oberheim DMX drum machine and the OB-Xa synthesizer. Photos of the ‘UB-Xa‘ prototype shows that Behringer plans to closely copy the original OB-Xa’s design and look, but modify the build to make it less expensive to manufacture.

Based on the company’s attempt to trademark ‘Oberheim’ and ‘OB-Xa’, it appears that they hoped to market their copy with the original’s look and name, similar to what they’ve done with knockoffs of the Octave The Cat and EDP Wasp synthesizers.

Behringer has six months to respond and contest the USPTO’s decision, or the application will be abandoned.

48 thoughts on “Behringer Oberheim Trademark Registration Refused, Because It ‘Falsely Suggests A Connection With Tom Oberheim’

  1. This is why many people refuse to buy products from Behringer or it’s subsidiaries. They are just a nasty, mean spirited profit above all kind of enterprise. Which to many musicians reminds us too well of the venues, record companies and others who prey on musicians.

      1. Thank goodness, Behringer is such a joke.They’re trying get away with selling”remakes” of products that they did not originally make for cheep.The original companies still have their legal papers for their products and Behringer acts like it’s a free for all with patent and trademark.

      2. Bezos didn’t invent it. We’ve been living and breathing it in western capitalism for decades. To single out one or two individuals for it while you drive around in your car, watch your digital TV and talk to your mates on your phone, is just being a hypocrite

    1. Food in supermarkets we eat from food producers forced to pay pittance to food workers forced by nasty supermarkets we easily buy from.

      Clothes we wear from poor exploited workers in Vietnam Bangladesh by nasty clothing retailiers we gladly shop from.

  2. Music Tribe has successfully registered Oberheim (filing number 016150724) and OB-Xa (016150741) in the European Union, along with the classic Oberheim note logo (016158991).

    1. Its interesting, because the Vector synth is 960€ for a tiny desktop module that while although might be powerful.. Against the model of the (haha) Model Craftsynth 2 doesnt hold a candle vs the model.. 145 bucks and tablet editing(which is way less limited than trying to put Every thing on the synth. Its about costs of design. But also which company has whichever vendors/ips/technologies lined up. I own a cs2. I wont be buying a vector- its just overpriced and if it takes that price to get a touchscreen on it.. And woo.. Rotary encoders! So- the cs2 has rotary encoders. So yeah. Pass on the more expensive this time. No bang. Lots of flash.

  3. Ain’t Karma a bitch? I wouldn’t buy a Behringer product if you paid me, because of their business practices. Good that there’s some justice in the world.

  4. Why they even bothered? Honestly, this company is no big deal with this analog comeback. It has a cheap factory sound. They’ll never have that old analog magic (like the Roland’s coming off Japan manufacturing plants back in the day). They’re ok for what they are but saying goes “you get what you pay for!”

    1. LOL. Are you talking about the same Behringer? Go to the Sweetwater page and read the customer reviews for the Deepmind 12 and the Neutron.

      1. Glad you enjoyed. Uli himself paid me in free Model D’s to write them. Course they couldn’t hold a tune, authentically I might add. eBay’d them for a tiny sum.

        1. LOL. Let me call the waaaaambulance for you. For $300, the Model D is a great synth. To be authentic, you want one with tuning drift?

          Your hatred of Behringer is blinding you to reality. Let go of the hate. Don’t give in to the power of the dark side.

          1. So your justification is, “It’s cheap, therefore it doesn’t matter if it’s a knockoff of another company’s product.” Sad way to view the world.

            1. Did you buy a car from Ford or Mercedes? No? Did you buy a cheaper copy and don’t care?
              So why do you care if it’s a synth?
              It’s just absurd. 😉

              1. This isn’t about low cost synthesizers. It is about copying someone else’s product and putting their name on it. Ford cannot release a vehicle called the “Mercedes AMG C44” that happens to look exactly like a Mercedes C43, because they will get sued for passing off their unrelated product as a more affordable Mercedes. If Ford attempts to defend their actions by stating, “Well, it’s 10% of the cost because we’re clever and want to bring affordable luxury cars to the masses,” they will lose.

  5. Mmmhmmm. I’m kind of glad honestly. Behringer has earned a sad, but not undeserved reputation of being a shamelessly unethical, disingenuous company with regards to the blatant copies of Arturia’s keystep, TB-303 and other products. They’ve continually lied to the designers whose patents/designs they rip off, and when anyone calls them on it, Uli responds with some caustic, aggressive action or litigation. You can only step on so many toes before the industry pioneers begin to knock you down a peg. It’s a shame, because I figured they’d be THE analog revivalist company for the classics, but after the last year or so, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

  6. So they need to change the name and appearance a bit more for the US market release, big deal. Behringers are for the people who cant justify dropping the big bucks on the originals, and if it looks a bit less like the original, and has some other letters in the name, no big deal..

  7. I am increasingly of the opinion that there is some infernal inluence at play in the Behringer world. All of the products look like great ideas, but then critical mistakes are made in design or manufacturing to make actually using them frustrating. Take the Neutron, for example. I find it extremely fun and intuitive to play with, but then I’ll spend 30 minutes troubleshooting silence because the patchbay’s normalled routings don’t actually match the manual, or chasing down some weird noise only to discover every single DAC is putting out all kinds of junk. Wrong resistor values on the oscillators. No fine tune, better not nudge that knob! Every single pot is the very cheapest avaliable. It goes on and on, all these neat ideas turned into eventual e-waste by annoying flaws.

    Admin: Personal attack deleted.

    Keep comments on topic and constructive.

  8. When i got my first Behringer gear a long time ago, i thought Behringer was decent. The gear worked and sounded OK. The price was way lower than other options i had. To this day, I still enjoy my Virtualizer effects unit. I love the sound and it works well with synths.

    When Behringer started insulting specific music journalists things took a turn. It turned me off. I think i’d enjoy some of their current products but their whole attitude isn’t right. Their Arturia copy was quite a strange decision too.

    Their marketing that promises things 3 years before they are ready feels like they want to convince everyone to wait. When Akai released the MPC One, they showed their MPC One clone around (well, a 3d render of it). I know which one i’d buy if both were available…

    I don’t understand their plan. They invest tons of cash to make gear but then they act like jerks and then people hate them. I wonder if they treat their employees this way too.

    I’m glad Tom Oberhemin can protect his name. Behringer has nothing to do with Oberheim.

  9. The kit they put out is decent for the money,
    im glad to buy a mini moog clone that sounds better than my little phatty
    for quarter of the price,dont buy it if you want that’s your choice,
    i have been happy with the gear,i can afford lots of bits of kit by them,some of the kit has little problems
    that they are slowly ironing out with updates sometimes.It works well my stuff,im very happy with it.

  10. Remember when as a kid, you tried a knock-off candy bar that looked like a Three Musketeers but tasted like someone sprinkled powdered sugar on a bum’s sock? That’s Behringer as much as not. I loosely hate the situation, because if Uli’s DeepMind 12 was a revered flagship for an all-original line of good budget tools, I’d probably own a couple. I just prefer things that have a better than 50/50 chance of holding up. Why can’t Uli just pay a good graphics designer to create a simple, defining logo for his own company? I’ll do one on a napkin and I won’t even draw a d*** on it.

    1. No because many of us are not from the US and have never tried a Three Musketeers. I have however tasted all the knockoff brands of chocolate and ice cream at my local Lidl supermarket. They cost roughly half what the top shelf brands do, and the general consensus is that they are extremely good. In fact most of what Lidl sell is “knockoff” but nobody cares. Why? Because having money left over after a shop is more important to most people than the minute taste difference. Most people don’t have money to blow on luxury items

  11. I feel that Behringer makes some good affordable products and I have mistakenly once but a really bad one!. I decided to research reviews before I buy. I doubt they are going to get away with blatantly copying another brand when there is a trademark or patent. When the patent is up, I can them making affordable versions of a classic products. But clearly, there is no way for them to use another manufacturer’s name in a product. I have a few Behringer products I think are very good affordable options. I think their quality has improved since Music Tribe has been around. Those TC Electronic series are a big improvement over the plastic fx pedals. I love my X18 Air Mixer, Touch controller, cross over, and tube mic preamp.

  12. While the company’s they keep ripping off are the Champagne of the world Beh keep putting out Lambrini.
    They appeal to masochists it seems. People with low self esteem.

    Sad thing is they have such a cult of sychophants that if they released sports cars with ‘Behrarri’ on them or ‘Bringles’ chips at give away prices people would be all over them and justify it.

    1. Dunno, but there would be added costs to have two different appearances to the hardware, two different marketing/advertising campaigns, two different shipping plans, etc. My guess is shutting down the trademark application in the U.S. will have global impact.

  13. It has happend before. With Bob Moog and the Voyager. It was supposed to be the new mini. But the trademark of the minimoog was owned by some other guys. Can’t remember if it was Europe or the US that was the culprit, In the end Moog got their trademark back tho’.

    Funny with Uli, being a german. Oberheim is a german name too. It doesn’t take much thinking to come up with a name he actually could use, if he wanted… quick – let’s trademark Überheim. :D.

    1. Behringer would be so much more interesting if it had a sense of humor and was a little more creative. I like the idea of ‘Überheim’, and with the company wouldn’t just make another knockoff, but actually do something creative that builds on the OB-Xa.

      Give it more polyphony, give it the effects of the Deepmind, give it a step sequencer, make it multi-timbral, make an actual Überheim!

      Give it it’s own unique identity, too, instead of ripping off Oberheim. People would be smart enough to understand that an ‘Überheim’ is supposed to actually BETTER than the original, instead of a cheap knockoff.

      And charge enough for that they can build it right, for a change.

      The existing Behringer synths are built like consumer electronics, basically designed to be disposable, because of the garbage knobs, switches and build. Most people would pay a little more to have something that they could expect to last as well as 70s or 80s synths.

      1. #”instead of ripping off Oberheim.”
        Keep in mind, that Tom Oberheim would probably never re-make his UB-Xa and if he did, then It would be in a price-range, which the average musicians would never be able to afford.

        Why not just be happy with what is getting made here instead of going by the logic of “Nothing is better than something”?

        1. Simple. There’s nothing wrong with copying others people stuff. That’s what we all do.

          The fact that Behringer takes other people’s stuff and keeps all that money to fill their own pockets and use it to attack reporters, developers and random people on forums is what makes Behringer scum of the earth.

    2. Uli isn’t German. Behringer is based in Germany.

      Admin: Personal attack deleted.

      Keep comments on topic and constructive.

  14. This is “trademark trolling” by an entitled capitalist overlord. The more money guys like this get the more they act like spoiled children, it’s never enough.

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