By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dave Rusan has been repairing guitars for nearly four decades.

But a guitar he created in the 1980s for Prince would change his career forever.

“There’s something about physically making something the shape out of wood,” Rusan said.

Handmade guitars line the walls of his little shop that’s made guitars for big names.

“There’s a lot to it. The carving, the fret work,” Rusan said.

Rusan’s career took off when an artist named Prince wanted him to make a unique guitar for a movie.

Rusan said yes and the Cloud guitar was born. That movie — “Purple Rain” — and the Cloud guitar would become iconic.

“The guitar itself is important to me. It’s one of the highlights of my life,” Rusan said.

But now, Rusan is in a legal battle to keep his trademark of the guitar.

This week, he posted on his business Facebook page, sharing that the Paisley Park estate is challenging the trademark.

He can fight it, but he says it could take years of litigation and cost him $50,000 in fees — even if the case didn’t go to court.

“It’s kind of a daunting thing. I’m trying to run my business, at the same time, I’m mostly by myself,” Rusan said.

Fans from around the world have been commenting on Rusan’s post and showing support.

He hasn’t yet decided what he’ll do.

Dave says the guitar is his legacy and he wants to make replicas for fans when he wants to.

“I could just go on and do what I love to do, which is make guitars,” Rusan said.

Rusan has a few months to decide whether or not he wants to fight the Paisley Park estate.

WCCO reached out to the Paisley Park estate, but they declined to comment.

Kate Raddatz

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