1970s Penco “Lawsuit” 335
THE GUITARCHIVE – This guitar is in excellent playing condition. It has plenty of scratches and chips you can see in the photos, but there are no cracks, breaks, or repairs. It’s all original. It plays beautifully well, has a great neck. It is a very well done Gibson ES-335 lawsuit copy.
In the 1970s, Penco was owned and manufactured by Hoshino Gakki, a Japanese factory that also owned and manufactured Ibanez. Penco and Ibanez made copies of Gibson guitars so well that eventually Norlin, the parent company of Gibson at the time, sued Ibanez in 1977 for trademark infringement for guitars just like this. That’s why these guitars are referred to as “lawsuit era” guitars. A list of other Japanese companies made cheaper copies, as well, and you will often see people refer to those as lawsuit era too.