Martin lawsuit acoustic guitar logos

In 1970s Japan there was a healthy industry making copies of the popular Martin dreadnought acoustic models. These are often referred to as "lawsuit guitars" because Martin contacted these Japanese manufacturers in the 1970s (or early 1980s) asking them to stop copying their logo. I don't know whether there was ever an actual lawsuit. Many of these copies had logos that also copied the Martin style. Here are some of the ones I have found so far:


CF Martin Guitars Logo

This is the original CF Martin logo they were all copying. Go to Martin page.

Jagard & Co Guitar logo

Jagard acoustic guitars and mandolins were made in the 1970s in Japan by Terada. Go to Jagard page

Takamine Martin style logo

The Takamine D28 copies are probaly the best known of the lawsuit acoustics. Go to Takamine page

CF Mountain est 1948 guitar logo

CF Mountain acoustic guitars were made in 1970s Japan and were copies of Martin designs. The "CF Mountain" logo was designed to look similar to "CF Martin". These were made by Hayashi in Matsumoto, Japan - the company where Headway & Deviser founder Yasuo Momose worked. Go to CF Mountain page

K Yasuma & Co logo

Yasuma Musical Instrument Company was established in 1950 in Nagoya by Kimihiko Yasuma. Yasuma made guitars, mandolins and ukuleles.  The guitars most commonly seen are Martin style dreadnought acoustics and may be branded "K Yasuma & Co", Aanton or Angelica. In the 1970s Martin won a copyright infringment case against Yasuma and as a result many Yasuma guitars imported into the USA had to be destroyed. Yasuma carried on for a while after this lawsuit - but had to alter their dreadnought design. Go to Yasuma page

Kiso Suzuki Martin guitar logo

The Suzuki Violin Company was established in 1887 by Masakichi Suzuki and has been making guitars since the early 1900s. Following the second World War the company was restructured into two parts: the Suzuki Violin Company, which later became the Kiso Suzuki Violin Company (run by one of Masakichi's sons Kikuo) and the Suzuki Violin Manufacturing Company came to be called the Nagoya Suzuki Violin Company (run by another one of Masakichi's sons, Umeo). - Go to Kiso Suzuki page.

Ryoji Matsuoka dreadnaught guitar logo

Ryoji Matsuoka began as a self taught classical guitar maker in post World War II Japan. The Matsuoka Musical Instrument Company Ltd. was founded in 1959 and was still active in 2014 as a classical guitar and acoustic guitar manufacturer - Go to Matsuoka page


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Lawsuit guitar 1970s

I have one. It's a 1970s Suzuki acoustic dreadnought lawsuit guitar.. with a tree of life running up the neck- mother of pearl or abalone inlay. I'd submit a pic for you to see if you like. It says CF Suzuki & Co. Est 1951. It's about 45 years old. I play it out at gigs. It sounds beautiful.

Tree of life

I have just bought what sounds like the same guitar. I’m so glad you gig with this one and recommend it. Do you have the model name? We can swap photos and serial numbers?

CF Suzuki Dreadnougt

I have one KW-150 from 77 love this thing. I have read that if there is a K in the model that Kiso built the guitar himself. Cool story if true but I cannot find any real proof. Nonetheless it is an Awesome guitar..