Tech 21 to rename pedal after steel industry cease & desist letter

Posted 04 Aug 2011 in Gear News, Press Releases

Tech 21, maker of excellent SansAmp series of analog amp simulators, received a cease and desist notice from United States Steel Corporation for the allegedly unauthorized use of the name “U.S. Steel,” stating that it “is likely to cause the public to mistakenly think that your business is sponsored or approved, or in some way is affiliated with or connected to, United States Steel Corporation. Of equal importance, your company’s use of ‘U.S. Steel’ dilutes the distinctiveness of the U.S. Steel brand.”

The “U.S. Steel” is one of 8 styles of pre-amp pedals in the SansAmp Character Series. According to Tech 21’s Vice President, Dale Krevens, “We chose the name to convey its tonal range of heavy metal guitar sounds. It honestly didn’t occur to us that guitar players might think Tech 21 or any of its products have anything to do with America’s steel industry. Being a niche pedal in a niche market, it’s oddly flattering they would call us out for using that name.”

A mutual agreement has been reached between the two companies. Tech 21 will stop the use of the name “U.S. Steel” for the guitar pedal once the remaining stock is sold and all future versions of the pedal will be renamed “U.S. Metal.”

You can find out more about Tech21 at

Source: Press Release.


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