(CN) – A federal judge in California on Thursday transferred a copyright suit against the estate of late Pantera frontman “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and a guitar manufacturer, holding that Florida is a move convenient venue for the case.
In the underlying lawsuit, plaintiff Buddy “Blaze” Webster says the estate and Dean Guitars profited off his design and did not give him credit for it.
Webster, who objected to the transfer of the case to Florida, claims he personally gifted the custom guitar to Abbott after the musician sold the original to a friend in the 1980s.
Abbott immediately liked the design and sound of the guitar and used it extensively over the course of his, the complaint says.
Pantera of Arlington, Texas reached peak success in the 1990s and has sold over 9 million records.
After a deranged fan shot and killed Abbott in 2004, Webster says Dean Guitars and Abbott’s estate marketed the guitar design – a modified Dean ML with a re-shaped neck and a lightening paint job – under the “Dimebag” name. Despite repeated requests, the lawsuit claims, Webster did not receive any payment or credit for the design.
“Abbott often spoke highly of Webster and the guitar that became his signature guitar,” the complaint states. “Webster is certain that Abbott would not condone continual reissues of Webster’s design, especially with no recognition or payment to Webster.”
Webster seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement.
The lawsuit was originally filed in California earlier this spring, but it was transferred to Tampa federal court, near where Dean Guitars is headquartered.
Dean Guitars could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.
The lawyer for the company and Abbott’s estate, Anna Naydonov of Dunner LLP in Washington D.C., could also not be reached for comment.
Webster is represented by Eric Bjorgum of Karish & Bjorgum in Pasadena, California.