After 36 years, Tom Oberheim is again the sole owner of the Oberheim trademark rights after Uli Behringer transferred the remaining to him.
The rights to the Oberheim trademark have already changed several times. The last owner was Uli Behringer with his Musictribe company. They had plans to use the brand on their own products, such as the UB-Xa. But this will no longer be possible now.
This afternoon it became known that the worldwide trademark rights have returned to its founder after 36 years. More precisely, Uli Behringer (MusicTribe), the last owner, has transferred the remaining Oberheim trademark rights to Tom Oberheim.
That came about because the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected MusicTribe’s attempt to register the “Behringer Oberheim” trademark. Nice to see that Tom has again all the rights and Uli agreed to this deal.
Tom Oberheim started Oberheim Electronics in 1970 and through the ‘70s and ‘80s became one of the most revered and recorded makers of polyphonic analog synthesizers. After many years of success, Oberheim Electronics had to file bankruptcy in May of 1985 when its lender decided to no longer fund the company, and all of Oberheim’s trademarks and other assets were sold off by the bank.
In 1988, Gibson acquired the rights to the Oberheim name, and for about twenty years produced Oberheim-brand products independent of Tom.
In 2009, Tom was encouraged by many musicians to re-enter the synthesizer market, resulting in a new generation of the SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module) based on his original SEM design from 1974. This quickly evolved into a range of SEM-based products over the next several years.
MusicTribe & Oberheim
In 2019 Tom was able to bring all of the Oberheim trademarks in the USA and several countries back into his name. In several other countries, Music Tribe Global Brands Ltd. owned registrations for the Oberheim trademarks.
“I was very happy after all these years to have regained ownership of some of the Oberheim trademarks,” said Tom Oberheim, Oberheim’s founder. “This led to the hope that someday I would be able to use my own name in all countries where the Oberheim trademark exists, so we contacted Music Tribe.”
“Tom Oberheim is a pioneer of analog synthesizers, and our whole industry owes him a debt of gratitude for his innovations,” said Uli Behringer, Founder of Music Tribe. “When we learned that Tom was still interested in making his own products with his original name, we knew the right thing to do was to transfer all of our Oberheim registrations back to him.”
“Thanks to Uli and the team at Music Tribe and Behringer, I own the worldwide rights to my name for the first time since 1985,” added Tom. “It is a wonderful homecoming, and it is a thrill to once again be able to have the Oberheim name and logo placed on my products.”
TVS-Pro Special Edition?
Tom recently shipped a small production run of a new TVS-Pro Special Edition model, which are the first synthesizers from Tom to carry the Oberheim brand in many decades.
Unfortunately, the one and only batch of the new TVS-Pro Special Edition is already sold out. Due to parts and resource shortages, they have no plans to manufacture more at this time. But maybe they will rethink the decision and build new ones when the situation changes. It would be nice.
More information here: Oberheim