|Use of the Steinway logo on a Steinway that has been rebuilt without genuine Steinway parts will now be considered a trademark infringement.|
Steinway Steps Up
Limits use of famed logo to only rebuilt instruments using Steinway parts. All others will be deemed counterfeit and in violation of trademark law.
STEINWAY & SONS is no longer licensing the use of its trademarks or logos for the creation of decals for use on restored Steinway pianos. The decision was prompted by the proliferation of what company management refers to caustically as “Steinwas” pianos—instruments rebuilt without the use of genuine Steinway soundboards, wrestplanks, or pinblocks.
"We cannot allow our company name
and reputation to exist
on a piano that looks brand new,
but in many cases
sounds nothing like a Steinway."
Todd Brecher, Steinway & Sons general counsel, explained, “There is an enormous amount of misinformation on the web, in piano forums, and other places about the differences between a genuine Steinway piano and an old Steinway rebuilt with non-Steinway parts. This misinformation is often propagated by the rebuilders that are marketing and selling off the good name that Steinway has established for quality over the course of 165 years of building pianos. We cannot allow our company name and reputation to exist on a piano that looks brand new, but in many cases sounds nothing like a Steinway.”
Steinway & Sons will no longer allow the purchase of Steinway decals for application on a Steinway piano. The company has not authorized any party to sell Steinway decals, meaning any such decals are considered counterfeit and a trademark infringement. Steinway & Sons will also not be selling decals through its parts department or any other Steinway channel.
Brecher also indicated that the company will use every legal avenue available to clamp down on what it considers unauthorized use of the Steinway trademark. He said the only acceptable use of a Steinway logo on a rebuilt instrument would be if the piano uses only genuine Steinway replacement parts, or the non-Steinway replacement parts used are incidental to the function of the piano and that such non-Steinway parts are specifically disclosed to the consumer. In either case, it must also be disclosed to the consumer that the piano has been rebuilt and by whom. He added, “Steinway & Sons takes its reputation and this matter very seriously, and will enforce our rights with respect to any pianos marketed or sold in violation of the above to the fullest extent of the law.”
Steinway is asking all interested parties to report counterfeit Steinway & Sons decals, or any pianos which are being marketed and sold as a “Steinway” piano in violation of the company’s trademark rights.