Tronical, German Firm Behind Auto-Tuning Tech, to Sue Gibson for $50 million

Tronical—a German company that produces automatic guitar tuning systems—announced today that it is suing Gibson brands for $50 million dollars over a breach of contract relating to their exclusive development agreement.

While the legal action has been pending before the Hamburg State Court since December 2017, today's motion sets a new amount of damages stemming from the fallout between the companies.

In an article posted by MusicRadar this morning, Tronical founder Chris Adams is quoted as saying, "Tronical is claiming licensing fees to the amount of 23 million U.S. dollars from the share in the profits agreed in the contract, and a further 27 million U.S. dollars on the grounds of Gibson’s breach of contract of the exclusive research and development agreement with Tronical, which Gibson should have met by 2026."

First used by Gibson in 2007, Tronical's auto-tuning systems were controversially added to almost all standard Gibson models in 2015. This decision was met by skepticism by many in the guitar community, and reversed in the following model year.

This latest suit adds to a growing list of financial hurdles that Gibson faces in 2018. As widely reported earlier this year, current Gibson ownership faces the maturation of $375 million in senior secured notes this summer, which carries the risk of bankruptcy for the historic company.

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