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Steinway has acquired Renner。

Posted By: Pro-TAC

Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 12:36 PM

Is that absolute?
The news shook all of us very badly.
Steinway and sons announced the acquisition of the company Louis Renner GmbH&Co. KG .

https://www.lvz.de/Region/Altenburg...xVyHmVfEEwIsyMv6MgJSLNsnalFgYk3acsNLSQcs
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 12:50 PM

I wonder if that means NY is going to start using Renner parts.
Posted By: pyropaul

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 01:39 PM

At least the article says the jobs will remain ..
Posted By: ando

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 01:58 PM

I wonder if they'll start making rebuilders verify which model piano the Renner parts are going into before allowing them to be purchased... crazy
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 02:26 PM

Very poor business decision by Steinway. Composite action parts are the future.

More signs the NY factory will be closed and moved to China. All rebuilding is going to Hamburg now.
Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 02:38 PM

Is it still a Steinway then, if you use Renner parts?
Posted By: Roy123

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Very poor business decision by Steinway. Composite action parts are the future.

More signs the NY factory will be closed and moved to China. All rebuilding is going to Hamburg now.


Ah, but Steinway can't admit that composite actions are superior in any respect, because they already make perfect pianos, which have wooden actions.
Posted By: S. Phillips

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 05:17 PM

Ed, Rebuilding is still very much in the Steinway factory in Queens.
Posted By: UnrightTooner

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/29/19 05:26 PM

Originally Posted by ando
I wonder if they'll start making rebuilders verify which model piano the Renner parts are going into before allowing them to be purchased... crazy


Renway?
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/30/19 01:40 AM

Do we know if this is for real?

Pwg
Posted By: pyropaul

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/30/19 01:51 AM

https://twnews.de/de-news/klavierbauer-steinway-sons-ubernimmt-weitere-spezialfirma has the same news.

Google translation of the above:

Hamburg .. The traditional Hamburg company Steinway & Sons buys know-how: The world's leading instrument maker has acquired the company Louis Renner . The company specializes in the construction of components for grand pianos and pianos. Steinway & Sons is one of the biggest customers of the supplier from Baden-Wuerttemberg and has been purchasing mechanics, hammer heads, special parts and tools for more than 100 years. About the purchase price, the contracting parties have agreed to secrecy.

"Just like us, Renner has a very long tradition, is a leader in its segment, and delivers excellent quality to customers worldwide. We share the same values, "said Guido Zimmermann, Managing Director of Steinway & Sons Europe. Renner should continue to work independently in the group. Steinway guarantees the continued employment of almost 200 employees at the sites in Gärtringen near Stuttgart and Meuselwitz near Leipzig, the company said.

Louis Renner founded the highly specialized family business in Stuttgart in 1882, which today is led by his great-grandson, one of the co-founders, Clemens von Armin, and Sabine Manal.
Steinway & Sons takes over other companies

With the purchase, Steinway & Sons continues its strategic acquisitions. This should ensure that the piano industry can be supplied in the long term with important and high-quality components, it said. These include the company Kluge GmbH in Remscheid as the largest European manufacturer of keyboards and the OS Kelly Company in Ohio, the largest US manufacturer of cast plates, which were both bought in the late 1990s. At the beginning of July 2019, Steinway & Sons also took over the Vienna Piano House on the Opernring.
Posted By: Klavimaniac

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/30/19 04:45 AM

Reading the complete article in German (my native tongue) does not give me the impression of a declining firm....I guess that's good news for all! I was becoming a bit worried lately when in their new Manhattan shop (which looks more like a used car dealership) I didn't see a single customer on a Saturday afternoon while my son took part in a competition in the basement. Their pianos, most of which I tried out sounded nasal and one-dimensional in color, but that has been my impression for years now and is perhaps due to me not being thrilled with new piano sound in general with the occasional exception of Steinways in Carnegie and Weill Hall that they really care about. If the business decision to buy Renner is a good one remains to be seen, but if nothing else it's an obvious one, securing the supply lines.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/30/19 10:50 AM

Why would anyone be "shaken badly" by such a corporate acquisition?

Renner used to make action parts. Renner will continue to make action parts. No problem.

Lots of great pianos are built with Renner action parts. Lots of great pianos are built with non-Renner action parts. No problem.

Lots of pianos are repaired using Renner action parts. Lots of pianos are repaired with non-Renner action parts. No problem.

I really don't see anything to cause us to be shaken badly.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 07/30/19 12:49 PM

It all depends on what their plan of action proves to be (please forgive the pun). There is no way to know that at this time. It is not unusual in the corporate world for a company to go on a spending spree making things look rosy on the outside when in fact there are serious problems on the inside that only a few know about...and then sell (or merge or something else).

This obviously did not happen overnight, so who knows what else is cooking in the pot. I still think it is all a consolidation strategy to present a better product to a potential buyer.

But I could be wrong too. Time will tell.

Pwg
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/14/19 09:20 AM

Certainly looks like it's official.
https://www.worldpianonews.com/news...um=link&utm_campaign=campaign_renner
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/14/19 01:12 PM

Yes, it is official. No doubt about that. What the game plan is only time will tell. However, as in the banking world, when financial institutions get bought up by other financial institutions, what it means is that they were in trouble, and their failure would be detrimental to the financial world at large, therefore acquisition is the lesser of two evils.

Renner, being a major player in the piano manufacturing world, could be seen as too important to fail (if in reality they were in trouble [I have no inside information and am only speculating based on what I know about common corporate practices]), therefore it is a smart move for SS to acquire them. In today's piano market it is hard to believe that the move is purely profit-oriented. IOW if Renner is so successful and highly profitable, why would they want to sell? AND, with SS production down significantly from prior levels, where are they getting the cash to make such a purchase, except possibly by selling 'unused/un-needed' property to movie moguls? Interesting timing of events.

Time will tell. All I know is that there are reasons for these decisions. Current SS ownership is not "piano people" but "money people".

Pwg
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/14/19 01:29 PM

PWG

While your reasoning for why a financial institution would buy another is probably correct, it is not a valid assumption in other industries. Companies can and are being bought because they have technology or a product desirable to the purchaser. Why does the company sell if they are profitable? $$$ and stock options.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/14/19 11:57 PM

You may very well be correct!

Pwg
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 06:13 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
PWG

While your reasoning for why a financial institution would buy another is probably correct, it is not a valid assumption in other industries. Companies can and are being bought because they have technology or a product desirable to the purchaser. Why does the company sell if they are profitable? $$$ and stock options.

Well If they sell we know who they will sell it to.
If you have a good piano which has renner action .,take care of your pianos !
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 09:18 AM

There is no reason to assume Renner actions will only be available to Steinway pianos, as this would be decreasing the income that Steinway will get from Renner sales. The purchase would make little sense in this case. Steinway owns Kluge; doesn’t Kluge sell to others? I believe so

I work in an industry where this type of merger is common: business goes on as usual with continued sales to other than the parent company. The profits just are distributed differently. if Steinway ever decides to sell Steinway , the increased profitability will be good for the sale. I can’t see any cause for alarm if you use Renner actions and any convoluted reason for the purchase other than increased profitability for Steinway.
Posted By: ulrichg

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 10:55 AM

I heard that Renner wasn't very well lately, but it looked more "guessinformation" than inside information, coming from various contacts between some techs and Renner.

I don't think Steinway will stop to sell Renner actions to others, it wouldn't be a smart move. My own conjecture was more on the "too big to fail" side of Renner : nowadays Steinway is even more too big to fail, every other piano company that actually uses Renner parts need Steinway to operate well.

But it could also be a Fat-Man strategy.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 01:32 PM

Interesting idea on the Fat Man strategy...though I highly doubt it. (I had never heard of it before so I looked it up). SS could say no to any potential buyer. I don't think there is any chance (esp in the piano making business) of any hostile takeover. I am far more inclined toward the TBTF and therefore secure your supply line way of thinking (makes more sense to me). I agree that it would create a better profit picture, but esp a better package to offer to a willing buyer.

I don't see it as a stupid move, but rather a smart one.

Pwg
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 02:21 PM

Keep in mind the decal situation....

What's to stop Steinway/Renner from no longer selling parts to rebuilders. They could still supply actions and parts to manufacturers.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 02:32 PM

Decals are protected by trademark. Service parts are not. Restricting the sale of parts would be shooting themselves in the foot.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 03:02 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
Decals are protected by trademark. Service parts are not. Restricting the sale of parts would be shooting themselves in the foot.


Big time!

Pwg
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 03:10 PM

In the rebuilding market wouldn't it benefit them to be able to assert that only pianos rebuilt by Steinway had Steinway or Renner parts?
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 06:37 PM

The backlash they would face by taking a clearly "restraint of trade" position would definitely land them in court over the matter and would be ridiculously costly and time consuming. A seriously bad economic move...not one that any prudent money manager would likely make, esp in unstable economic times.

I would be highly surprised at such a decision.

Could be good for WN&G though.

Pwg
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/15/19 07:52 PM

Restraint of trade or protecting the brand.

After all, it is Steinway's position that its brand is damaged by rebuilders who don't us all Steinway parts.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 12:27 AM

That may be their position but the law is not 100% on their side.

It has already been established legally that a manufacturer cannot require repair shops to use OEM parts. Otherwise auto parts stores would not exist and you'd be buying all your car parts from whoever made your car...no matter how old it is or who you bought it from.

Pwg
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 02:42 AM

What Steinway is claiming in "The Letter" and in the "Decal Affidavit" is they alone have the right to determine if a used Steinway can be sold as a Steinway. They assert their brand is injured by poor quality rebuilds. There is no evidence for this in the market.

I don't think their copyright claim on old style decals has any validity. So far no one has been sued by them that I know of and there are plenty of used piano dealers with rebuilt Steinway's on the floor. Most have the current decal, and Steinway may have a valid claim on exclusivity for that. Still they need to prove deception by the seller that what they are offering is an official, new Steinway.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 05:07 AM

Steinway does not have a copyright claim on their decals; they have a trademark. The laws concerning trademarks are quite different from copyright laws.

As for determining whether a used Steinway can be sold as a Steinway, they have the same right to determine that as anyone else does.
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 10:53 AM

It makes sense to think that Renner might have been struggling financially, because how many pianos are being made in Europe and the USA these days, and fitted with Renner actions? Compared to the vast quantity of pianos being manufactured in China (and maybe Indonesia) and probably fitted with Chinese-made actions.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 11:58 AM

As Ed says, SS has not taken anyone to court over the matter (as they threatened in "The Letter). This is a strong indication that they have no intention to follow through, plus the fact that they refuse to publish clarification of their position is further evidence of their intentions...nothing.

You see, they did not come right out and say: 'No one can rebuild SS pianos except us...' No, they said: ' You can do it, but only within certain parameters and limitations...' But their stated guidelines are vague and subject to interpretation and they have thus far refused to give clarification on the matter. If they were truly serious about it they would state what can and can't be done, what parts can or cannot be used, etc. They won't answer any questions regarding this. Why? Because it was all a big bluff right from the start. A nothing burger. A threat, and nothing more. A seemingly valid reason to take back control over the decals, but in today's world of YouTube videos teaching people how to make anything in their basement, it amounts to nothing.

So business continues as usual despite SS claim to exclusivity. And will continue. Don't expect them to do anything legally. It would be a huge quagmire for them and they know it.

Pwg
Posted By: Roy123

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 12:10 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
Steinway does not have a copyright claim on their decals; they have a trademark. The laws concerning trademarks are quite different from copyright laws.

As for determining whether a used Steinway can be sold as a Steinway, they have the same right to determine that as anyone else does.



If you sell a used Steinway as a used Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say you can't do that?
If you sell a rebuilt Steinway as a rebuilt Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say that you can't?

I strongly suspect that the original purchaser of the Steinway piano purchased it free of restriction, i.e., they didn't sign a binding agreement that stipulated what they could or couldn't do with the piano. By the time a piano gets rebuilt it is surely old, and most often has had more than one previous owner, all but the first of whom purchased the piano on the used market, free of restriction.
If you purchase a used Toyota, just as an example, and the previous owner had body work done on it that included replacing the company logo that is often placed somewhere on the back of the car, has the body shop violated the trademark of the car's original manufacturer? Is replacement of a trademarked logo that was destroyed or damaged or missing on a used item considered trademark infringement? What if Toyota didn't have replacement logos for sale, or refused to sell them? What if the body shop replaced body panels not manufactured by Toyota (a common practice for all brands of cars). Can the repaired car be sold as a Toyota even though it has non-Toyota parts?
Is putting a new Steinway logo on an old Steinway piano whose logo was damaged an attempt to deceive, or simply a repair?

I'm not a lawyer and don't have answers to all these question, but I'm pretty sure that the Steinway company can't restrict anyone from selling a used Steinway as a Steinway. One wonders--what else would it be?
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 12:42 PM

Suppose a Steinway was rebuilt with a WNG action.

Steinway would have us believe that it is no longer a Steinway and that they have the right to protect their brand.

I too am not a lawyer, but think they would have an arguable case.
Posted By: ando

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 01:55 PM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Suppose a Steinway was rebuilt with a WNG action.

Steinway would have us believe that it is no longer a Steinway and that they have the right to protect their brand.

I too am not a lawyer, but think they would have an arguable case.

Only if deception was involved. If you state: "For sale, Steinway with WNG retrofitted action", you are fine. It's truthful and there is no conflict. For anyone who wants a Steinway with a WNG action, it's helpful. The only thing required is transparency.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 02:03 PM

OK. Let me try another scenario...

Suppose a rebuilder uses Renner hammers, shanks and flanges, instead of Steinway.

Would they need to reveal, casting doubt in the mind of shoppers?

How about just the hammers...?
Posted By: BDB

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 02:12 PM

Originally Posted by Roy123
If you sell a used Steinway as a used Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say you can't do that?
If you sell a rebuilt Steinway as a rebuilt Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say that you can't?


Well, at least in the USA, the First Amendment says that they do have those rights.
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 02:41 PM

My, oh my.
What for all the hate toward Steinway, one would think this forum belonged to their competitors LOL

I see a great many techs in here who were so blindly enraged at S&S over a simple decal episode, who are now faced with REALITY-- S&S is not on the brink as a business. Indeed, they are expanding their horizon by one of the best business moves a piano firm could make.

Highly reputable action-maker to be a subsidiary to a highly reputable piano mfg. - this is a perfect match. Congrats to S&S for closing such a deal!


Unfortunately, now those certain techs will focus their attention on bad-mouthing not only S&S, but Renner too... Some people choose to live in blindness to the reality that is in front of them.

NOW we all must endure how COMPOSITE is FAR superior than standard anyway...and, THIS is a SURE sign that S&S will soon be based out of CHINA! LOL

Whatever. Enjoy your world.

* By the way, I had basically quit posting in here due to such biased rules against Christian faith- but I could not restrain myself this one response to such enjoyable news.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 02:55 PM

According to SS "position" you must disclose this to any potential buyer. But this is really a no brainer. This should be SOP for any shop selling any piano, anywhere, anytime. No matter what the make, they should be transparent about what has been done to the instrument. Anyone who wanted to conceal this would obviously attempting to manipulate the buyer.

Even if the customer does not ask, the wise seller would be wise to disclose fully what was done and what parts were used, and why. I do not see how or why this would create doubt in the mind of the shopper. If the piano sounds and plays great and they like it, they buy it.

What SS is subtly trying to do is in fact CREATE that doubt that the piano is now worth less than if OEM parts were used. It is a backdoor tactic to steer repair, rebuilding, and sales to themselves. They have some very clever people in their marketing dept. They took a cute advertising slogan and turned it into a "legal" position. How smart is that?

However, notice the fact that SS is not enforcing their "position" now almost a year old. Why? Because they know that they would be countered with a massive restraint of trade lawsuit, and everyone would jump on the bandwagon against them, including consumers. So, they quietly engage in a form of mind control through the use of idle legal threats (which every lawyer on the planet knows how and why to use). There's no beef in the burger.

SS broke no law in sending out "the Letter". They also took no legal action in doing so. Many are confused on this issue. NO LEGAL ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN. Only a threat...period. This does not constitute legal action any more than if you paid your lawyer to write a nasty letter to your neighbor informing them that they have no right to set foot on your property, and if they do you will sue them. The Letter is not legal action but simply a threat. It certainly tells your neighbor how you feel about them and instills fear and trepidation into them, but it is nothing more than a lawyers trick to bend them to your will. It means nothing until you actually follow through and take them to court to press your "issue".

A lawyer's letter is nothing more than a legal fart. It has no substance beyond fear.

That is what SS did...they farted, and they're counting on the smell to go their way.

Pwg
Posted By: Gene Nelson

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 03:33 PM

well if they are really trying to corner the market on rebuilding then let it happen.
I believe it will burn itself out in a short time
based on my experience factory work is antecedent to considerable post delivery work required to get a decent instrument.
and prices are not competitive.
as for decals, its difficult but not impossible to figure how to preserve one in the refinishing process.

iv put renner parts in ny ss many times and who could argue before or after the purchase of renner that these are not genuine ss parts. if it werent for renner whips, it would be very difficult to correct action geometry.
Posted By: ando

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 04:17 PM

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks


* By the way, I had basically quit posting in here due to such biased rules against Christian faith- but I could not restrain myself this one response to such enjoyable news.

Faith (of any persuasion) is not relevant to the discussion of pianos - that's why it's banned. You were introducing irrelevant topics into the forum.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks


Highly reputable action-maker to be a subsidiary to a highly reputable piano mfg. - this is a perfect match. Congrats to S&S for closing such a deal!
.


Rick,

Yes, a very smart move indeed IMO. Makes complete sense to protect your supply line in an uncertain economic climate. They certainly have broken no laws.

Pwg
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 06:59 PM

Originally Posted by ando
Faith (of any persuasion) is not relevant to the discussion of pianos - that's why it's banned. You were introducing irrelevant topics into the forum.


Faith (of any persuasion) is the driving force behind all human actions. Show me how you think, behave, live and work-- and I'll know what you believe.
A lazy tech is lazy in mind, soul, and body.
To say, "faith (of any persuasion) is not relevant to the discussion of pianos", is to show a complete lack of understanding (perhaps willing ignorance?) of what faith (of any persuasion) truly is.
I know I know--- off topic! LOL You started it.
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 07:00 PM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Rick,

Yes, a very smart move indeed IMO. Makes complete sense to protect your supply line in an uncertain economic climate. They certainly have broken no laws.

Pwg



thumb
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 08:17 PM

LOL? It's not funny, Rick.
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 08:55 PM

Originally Posted by David Boyce
LOL? It's not funny, Rick.

The laugh was solely directed toward my "I know I know--- off topic" comment... You're right, none of the rest is funny-- at all smile
Posted By: Ed Foote

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/16/19 09:10 PM

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks
Originally Posted by David Boyce
LOL? It's not funny, Rick.

The laugh was solely directed toward my "I know I know--- off topic" comment... You're right, none of the rest is funny-- at all smile




Hmm, I have faith in levity, why not the other way, around?
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/17/19 02:39 AM

Sally, I looked at the Steinway website a couple of weeks ago after talking with Daniel DeBlasio RPT at the Tucson PTG Convention to verify what he said about no rebuilding was happening in NY. Website said all rebuilding was now at Hamburg.
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/17/19 04:49 PM

An earlier article (in German) says that Renner will not only continue to operate independently, but will continue to serve all existing customers.

https://www.lvz.de/Region/Altenburg...W5UZIPuMl1EPJ9Kwaw2fffeGrgv_ahLgPIrEXQOA
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/17/19 05:06 PM

I can't envisage it any other way. Looks good.

Pwg
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/17/19 07:07 PM

Steve Cohen,
When I read what Steinway has claimed in the new policy; I read it as them laying claim to determine "authentic Steinway" in any used Steinway and require the seller to disclose what deviates from "authenticity".

Well Steinway calls it's own rebuilding facility a "Restoration" Facility and they do no such restoration. They put in current specifications. That is a deception.

And Steinway enlists Music Schools to "qualify" for "All Steinway School" designation yet this includes Boston and Essex brand pianos. That is a deception and certainly contributes to "brand confusion".

The very idea that a rebuilder should have to disclose all the minutia of the processes used to be free of any claim of deception is absurd. Should Steinway or any manufacturer have to disclose how the present manufacturing processes differ from what was originally used when the present scales were designed?

Then there is the issue of attempting to claim that all versions of the decal are present intellectual property. One cannot have multiple logos for a single product. The law requires one to choose one and defend it.
Posted By: Roy123

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/19/19 08:33 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Roy123
If you sell a used Steinway as a used Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say you can't do that?
If you sell a rebuilt Steinway as a rebuilt Steinway, does the Steinway company have a right to say that you can't?


Well, at least in the USA, the First Amendment says that they do have those rights.


Did you mean to say that the First Amendment says they don't have those rights? If you really meant to say, "do," can you reference any Supreme Court decision that interprets these words that way?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/19/19 11:32 PM

If that was the case, that Steinway has the authority to regulate the sale of used Steinways, then what follows is that Ford can regulate the sale of used Fords, same with Chrysler, General Motors, Lazyboy, Kitchenaid, Dell, Panasonic, etc etc. They all would have the authority to dictate what can and can't be sold with their name on it.


DO THEY? NOOOO!

Steinway can SAY whatever the heck they want. That DOES NOT make it LAW!

Pwg
Posted By: BDB

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 12:05 AM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Steinway can SAY whatever the heck they want. That DOES NOT make it LAW!

Pwg


That is what I said. They say what they want. They can say that those who modify their products are making them into something other than their products.

What they can do is control their intellectual property: patents and trademarks.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 01:59 AM

BDB,

Yes, I noticed you have made that point previously.

And as far as trademarks go, the only thing they can trademark is the APPEARANCE of the name, IOW the font and artwork. They cannot, and do not have trademark protection on the name: Steinway or Steinway and Sons, or Steinway Musical Properties (or whatever it is). If they had protection on the NAME, then anytime we said or write the name (without permission) we would be in violation of their trademark. THAT would be ludicrous.

What is LEGALLY in question is whether they still have real trademark protection status on their OLD (not current) SS logos, of which there are roughly a dozen or so. THEY want to say yes they do (and they can SAY anything they want). What matters is when somebody challenges that position and does not back down, then if SS wants to press the issue (which according to law they NEED to in order to KEEP their trademark protection in force), take the matter to court, where each side argues it's case and a judge decides who is more correct and makes a a judgement on the matter. THEN and only then does "law" get made, as in interpreted, and then becomes a precedent to affect future judgements.

What is also LEGALLY in question is whether they can dictate the terms for the sale of used Steinways. The legal implications of such a stance are far ranging.

SS is playing one of the oldest law games in the book. Talk big, threaten with letters, intimidate, taunt...as if to say: "You don't like it?...then sue me", knowing full well that the average Joe piano rebuilder has not the guts or cash to do it. SS remains in the driver's seat (in their mind...it worked). SS knows full well that they have the upper hand as long as the matter stays out of court. They don't want court because they cannot make their claims stick and they know it and they will LOSE. They will not sue any of the big players in rebuilding and sales because they will instantly be countersued for restraint of trade...and they will LOSE and likely have to pay damages. Not a good thing.

So, as long as they stay out of the courtroom they know they can SAY and claim anything they want. And they can send out as many threatening letters as they want. It's the oldest lawyer trick in the book. And it works...often.

I don't know how we got on to this again. The stupidest thing SS could do with Renner would be to attempt to control the parts flow against rebuilders. Absolutely insane. However, if John Paulson is losing his mind (literally), that's not an impossible scenario. Other large corporations have made some pretty dumb blunders, and one has to wonder how and why.

DEC computers made some ding dong decisions and lost out to IBM. DEC is now a relic of the past.

I'm tired. 😩

Pwg
Posted By: jsilva

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 02:26 AM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
... They cannot, and do not have trademark protection on the name: Steinway or Steinway and Sons, or Steinway Musical Properties (or whatever it is). If they had protection on the NAME, then anytime we said or write the name (without permission) we would be in violation of their trademark. THAT would be ludicrous.


It doesn’t work that way. If Steinway didn’t have legal protection for their name then anyone could make a piano and call it a Steinway (with a different looking logo) and Steinway would have no legal means to stop them. Except they do.

What would be decided in a hypothetical court case is not whether Steinway can protect their name in this way, but rather if rebuilding a Steinway piano with non-Steinway parts/processes is the same as building a new piano and putting the Steinway name on it. What makes a piano from a particular manufacturer unique to that manufacturer—i.e. is it the just the rim, or is it a particular combination of parts, building processes, etc.—would be debated.

Maybe the rebuilders’ side would have the better argument overall, but I can say with certainty that rebuilding a Steinway piano in whatever way the rebuilder wants to and then putting the Steinway name on it would most likely not be determined to be legal in such a case. Rebuilding a Steinway according to the original specifications (as much as is possible) might have a favourable decision.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 02:52 AM

Point taken, however if I do a crummy job of replacing the interior of my 1957 Chevy, using parts and materials from a third party (because GM cannot supply them as original because they don't make them and will not make them no matter how much I jump up and down and spit wooden nickels), is the car still a 1957 Chevy, or is it not? Can I advertise it for sale as a Chevy or not? Can GM prevent me from doing that or not? Is it not in fact simply a poorly restored Chevy? And any buyer doing his due diligence will choose whether to buy it or not after an assessment of its overall merits.

Am I violating a trademark or not? If I am, what is GM going to do about it? If they feel it is an infringement but they do nothing about it, the law says they no longer have any SAY in the matter (after a period of time). If they aggressively pursue every violator and win, regularly and consistently (like Disney for example), then they have a CASE.

Pwg


P.S. And anyway, that Steinway STILL HAS THE NAME ON IT CAST IN TO THE PLATE. I didn't put IT there.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 04:35 AM

Well said Mr. Grey!

I must differ very slightly with your overall exposition on this issue. And that is if Steinway gets enough people believing their claims of brand damage from poorly rebuilt old Steinway's. And they get enough people to believe that only Steinway has the "magic sauce" for soundboards and actions.

That is why PTG should request Trade Restraint investigations from FTC, DOJ and States Attorneys General.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/20/19 12:30 PM

Ed,

Yes, I agree with you there, and I believe that they are waging a PR campaign in that direction. A court case wound likely spoil the whole thing for them though.

However, if 5,000 - 15,000 private citizens (preferably each an owner of a SS piano) each wrote a letter to SS expressing their disapproval (not of their pianos per se) of their tactics toward the overall piano maintenance and repair trade in this regard, and that if they don't stop and act like reasonable human beings, they will NEVER, EVER buy another SS as long as they live, and they will advise their offspring and friends to do the same...well maybe they'd get the message.

Market forces can be powerful.

However, I would reiterate that SS as yet has not broken any laws (to my knowledge). They have simply started acting like a bad neighbor.

But they could change back to being a good neighbor. They should take a lesson from Fred Rogers.

Pwg
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/21/19 02:40 AM

According to the legal opinion tendered to PTG, Steinway is in Trade Restraint right now. As soon as they removed the old decals from the vendors.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/21/19 07:23 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
According to the legal opinion tendered to PTG, Steinway is in Trade Restraint right now. As soon as they removed the old decals from the vendors.


Until this is determined in a court of law, this legal opinion has little value.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/21/19 11:54 AM

And since Decals Unlimited appears to be unphased by the change, there is an implication that somewhere down the road the policy will get reversed and everything will go back to "normal".

Pwg
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/25/19 06:52 PM

In my opinion the acquisition of Renner only serves the purpose of ramping up the value of the whole Steinway company and making it easier now for a potential buyer to negotiate a price that comprises all relevant elements of the Steinway company. Previously. Renner might have been seen as a stumbling block for a potential buyer, because as a traditional German craft manufacturer they would hesitate selling to a Chinese company. It was not a big mystery in the industry that Renner was for sale anyway, but they specificlly not looking for a Chinese buyer.

Now that this stumbling block is out of the way, I believe that Steinway as a whole will change ownership to a Chinese company within 12 months.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/26/19 02:50 AM

I'm in this ballpark too.

Pwg
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/26/19 01:55 PM

It makes sense to think that our piano tools, parts, and materials will increasingly be sourced from China. After all, how many pianos are made now in Europe and the USA, and how many in China?
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/28/19 04:17 AM

Originally Posted by David Boyce
It makes sense to think that our piano tools, parts, and materials will increasingly be sourced from China. After all, how many pianos are made now in Europe, Japan and the USA, and how many in China?


Let me rephrase that for you:

How many pianos of outstanding quality, designed with a vision for sound, playability, durability, servicability and devotion to carrying on a long history of innovation and craftsmanship are manufactured in Europe, Japan and the US as compared to China?

I'll give you Steinway, Bösendorfer, Bechstein, Mason&Hamlin, Schimmel, Steingräber, W.Hoffmann, Petrof, Grotrian, Blüthner, Borgato, Förster, Yamaha, Maene, Kawai, Fazioli, Sauter.

Now, is there any Chinese piano manufacturer that meets the criteria of my rephrased question?

Sheer numbers never tell the whole story.
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/28/19 06:28 PM

I did not intend a discussion about relative quality. My point was that sheer volume of manufacturing means that piano tools, materials, and parts will probably be increasingly sourced from China.

Steinway, Seiler, Forster, and others, are not above marketing ranges of pianos manufactured for them in China.

If you want to make a separate point about manufacturing quality, that's fine of course. But I don't require you to rephrase anything for me, thanks very much. I am reasonably fluent in English.
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/28/19 09:04 PM

Originally Posted by David Boyce
Steinway, Seiler, Forster, and others, are not above marketing ranges of pianos manufactured for them in China.

What Förster pianos are manufactured in China? Förster prides themselves in being entirely German made. A Chinese-manufactured Förster would be surprising, indeed. Enlighten me.
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/28/19 09:33 PM

Originally Posted by David Boyce
I did not intend a discussion about relative quality. My point was that sheer volume of manufacturing means that piano tools, materials, and parts will probably be increasingly sourced from China.

Steinway, Seiler, Forster, and others, are not above marketing ranges of pianos manufactured for them in China.

If you want to make a separate point about manufacturing quality, that's fine of course. But I don't require you to rephrase anything for me, thanks very much. I am reasonably fluent in English.


Your fluency in English not withstanding, you should take a look at the brands I mentioned. None of the instruments that have Steinway, Bechstein, Seiler, Förster on their fallboards are manufactured or designed in China. There are companies behind those brand names and some of them have different lines of models and some of these are manufactured in China, such as Essex for Steinway.

I stand by my rephrasing and ask you to show me a single Chinese brand that is even close in terms of the criteria I mentioned as compared to the brands I listed.
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/29/19 07:59 PM

But my post was not ABOUT quality of Chinese versus quality of top European. I am not disputing that.
Posted By: Rick_Parks

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/29/19 10:26 PM

Originally Posted by David Boyce
It makes sense to think that our piano tools, parts, and materials will increasingly be sourced from China. After all, how many pianos are made now in Europe and the USA, and how many in China?


Why would anyone look at the current realities and even think that there is a future in cheap Chinese production? The China phenomenon is about over (cheap labor, cheap trade).
Rather, I really think what you are about to see is a historical economic/trade block with EU, Brittain, N. and S.America (western powers)- something bigger than TPP and TTIP (trans-Pacific/Atlantic-partnership plan of Obama)...Along with an economic 'reset'. There has to be a reset, as the current order simply cannot hold up much longer. The replacements are already being worked out-- an all-digital financial sector, along with a "Social-Credit-Score System"- you can see it already forming, if you are watching:

For our own reset- look here to see what's in your immediate future:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/science...ems-like-Chinas-used-Silicon-Valley.html

And here:
https://www.fastcompany.com/9039404...ing-a-chinese-style-social-credit-system


Russia and China will hold themselves aside, in their own camp (already have a trade/military pact going), along with the Iranians, Turks, Syria, and everyone else who cannot stomach the Western social ideologies. 2020-21 are going to be some really interesting years to be alive to say the least.
By the way this is all heading toward one major war in the end.


Anyway, my ramblings do have a point when it comes to this particular discussion- as, right now the view of anyone with an economic mind is that, 'at best, it is a major gamble to bet on any trade deal with China'... While the more likely view is that 'there is no working it out with China at all' -(hence Trump's recent 'suggestion' for US corporations to prepare for doing business with other countries, rather than with China...About as hopeful as the current economic order remaining the same.
So, all our tools and equipment are more than likely to be the future products of some other country (and more expensive than the Walmart products you get now).

And as far as all this gossip about Steinway selling off to China, and their purchase of Renner as proof of this plan--- this strikes me as simply S&S haters/railers at it again. Those who can not let go of the stupid decal decision, and insist on bad-mouthing S&S whenever possible.
Reminds me of a neighbor that is rather well known in our neck of the woods...They got in trouble with the local fire warden years back-- and well, have had a beautifully designed wooden shingly sign hanging in their front lawn for 6 years now--- "All Wardens Are Jerks".
Let it go people.
The purchase of Renner simply assures an excellent quality source for S&S into the distant future.

* Edit: (Inert)- By the way, those people decorate that sign every Christmas with their festive lights.
Posted By: Ken Iisaka

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/30/19 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by OE1FEU

How many pianos of outstanding quality, designed with a vision for sound, playability, durability, servicability and devotion to carrying on a long history of innovation and craftsmanship are manufactured in Europe, Japan and the US as compared to China?


The Yangtze River that I heard at the Tchaikovsky a couple of months ago was quite impressive. It actually sounded better in some ways than the Steinway: clearer bass for example. I didn't get to play it however.

Yangtze River is an unashamed facsimile of the Steinway in so many ways, from the scale design to the dimensions of components down to the pedal lyre. Even some parts may possibly be interchangeable, and I've heard a technician who saw it saying that it had Steinway actions and hammers.

While the example I played a few years ago in Shanghai was underwhelming, Terence Ng and his team is determined to make a better Steinway than Steinway does. It won't be long before the design evolves onto its own.

Also remember that the vast majority of concert grands being made today were based on the Steinway design.
Posted By: Chris Leslie

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/30/19 02:01 AM

It seems that it needs to be repeated that David made no aspersion about piano qualities but rather about volume of supply and the possible future source of parts. Funny how conversations can go off on a tangent sometimes.
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/30/19 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by Chris Leslie
It seems that it needs to be repeated that David made no aspersion about piano qualities but rather about volume of supply and the possible future source of parts. Funny how conversations can go off on a tangent sometimes.


Thank you Chris.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/31/19 01:55 AM

It occurred to me this morning while watching the news and the subject was Dale Earnhardt Jr getting back into his Chevy for a race (after the plane crash), that his "Chevy" probably does not have hardly one OEM part in it since it is TOTALLY souped up for racing. If SS's position were law, he would not be able to call that thing a Chevy anymore since he would be making money using the trademark yet he has no GM parts in the vehicle.

Seems to me like it's the same basic idea. Seems like that specific type of situation would be a strong argument in a court of law AGAINST SS's position.

Chocolate does to me what caffeine does...makes me say and do things I might not ordinarily do. I just had some chocolate.

Pwg
Posted By: Sam S

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/31/19 09:31 AM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
It occurred to me this morning while watching the news and the subject was Dale Earnhardt Jr getting back into his Chevy for a race (after the plane crash), that his "Chevy" probably does not have hardly one OEM part in it since it is TOTALLY souped up for racing. If SS's position were law, he would not be able to call that thing a Chevy anymore since he would be making money using the trademark yet he has no GM parts in the vehicle.

Seems to me like it's the same basic idea. Seems like that specific type of situation would be a strong argument in a court of law AGAINST SS's position.

Chocolate does to me what caffeine does...makes me say and do things I might not ordinarily do. I just had some chocolate.

Pwg


In NASCAR races the stock parts are the hood, roof, trunk lid, and front grill - isn't that what makes a car a car? :-) The auto companies make the engines, or the basic engines, but they are limited production just for racing...

Not sure how all that relates to pianos. There is no NASPoC - National Association for Stock Piano Competition!

Sam
Posted By: Ed Foote

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/31/19 11:52 AM

[quote=Sam S


In NASCAR races the stock parts are the hood, roof, trunk lid, and front grill - isn't that what makes a car a car? :-) The auto companies make the engines, or the basic engines, but they are limited production just for racing...
Sam[/quote]


Actually, the sheet metal is made from thinner panels than a normal car, you can't buy them at the dealer. The motors are built, often, by the individual race teams, and there is nothing factory about them,( they are all dry-sump engines).
the only thing totally factory on a NASCAR racing car is the sponsorship decal.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Steinway has acquired Renner。 - 08/31/19 11:53 AM

SamS,

Well, that would be considered "cosmetic", not performance. SS contends that if one alters the PERFORMANCE aspects of the unit by introducing non-SS parts or processes, then it is no longer a SS, thus prosecutable under trademark protection law.

Of course since these issues have a strong tendency to boil down to money, probably the reason why GM's lawyers don't stoop to the stupidity of suing Dale Earnhardt Jr over trademark infringement for messing around with their car is that they get positive publicity out if it and ultimately revenue (money).

SS OTOH feels that they are losing revenue by anyone altering their product and profiting in any way from it. They feel that THEY are the only ones to decide performance parameters. No one else on the planet is authorized to do so. All must accept what SS says. At least that is how they would like it to be.

Edit: Good point Ed.

Pwg
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