21 years ago, an Oregon man started making classic guitars -- now he's in the legal battle of his life.
CLATSKANIE, OREGON - Mar 11, 2014 - Jack Charles, the owner of Phantom Guitarworks, has been making guitars out of his home studio since 1992. Now he's being sued by Korg, a rival corporate manufacturer.
Jack Charles Meussdorffer was in the sixth grade when he turned on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and saw the guitar that would become his passion.
"The Stones (were on) and Brian Jones was playing a teardrop. I thought that was the coolest-looking guitar I'd ever seen in my life," he said.
More than two decades later, after his own career as a rock musician, Meussdorffer set up shop in Clatskanie, Ore., and began making his own instruments, inspired by the one he saw Jones playing. But after building a reputation for 21 years as the maker of his trademarked Teardrop, Phantom and MandoGuitars, he’s now facing a lawsuit that threatens to topple his business.
On Sept. 3, 2013, the multinational company Korg Inc. and its affiliates filed a complaint against Meussdorffer and his Phantom Guitar Works company, seeking to cancel several of Meussdorffer's long-held trademarks and claiming "tortious interference" with the brand's own models. Meussdorffer and his legal team filed a counter-claim, and the case has slogged on ever since.
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