Worldwide Rights to Oberheim Trademark Returned to its Founder

Oberheim Logo
Original Oberheim logo, first introduced in 1970

Synthesizer pioneer Tom Oberheim regains his name worldwide thanks to Music Tribe

Orinda, California (Wednesday, August 3, 2021) — Tom Oberheim announced today that after 36 years, the worldwide rights to the Oberheim trademark are now back with its founder.

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.

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.”

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.


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