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Guitar Hero violates patent, claims Gibson, wants sales halted

Wednesday, 12th March 2008 21:26 GMT By Patrick Garratt

guitarheroiii4.jpg

This could get nasty. Guitar-maker Gibson is claiming that Guitar Hero violates one of its patents. Gibson, in a letter sent to Activision in January, is claiming that the game infringes a 1999 patent for technology used to simulate a musical performance. Gibson is seeking that Activision either gets a license for the game or stops sales.

Activision has filed a lawsuit asking the Court for Central California to declare Gibson’s patent invalid and to bar it from seeking damages.

“Gibson is a good partner, and we have a great deal of respect for them. We disagree with the applicability of their patent and would like a legal determination on this,” Activision general counsel George Rose said in a statement.

“Based on our preliminary analysis, the Guitar Hero software (including any expansion packs) and the guitar controller provided by Activision being used as a musical instrument (packaged with the software or sold standalone) are covered by the … patent,” Gibson’s law firm said in its January 7 letter. “Gibson requests that Activision obtain a license under Gibson’s … patent or halt sales of any version of the Guitar Hero game software.”

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6 Comments

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  1. XDamage

    Argh, the greed! It’s horrible! :P

    #1 6 years ago
  2. patlike

    Heh. It’s probably a storm in a teacup, but it’s got the potential to be really serious. I bet the court tells Gibson to fuck off, though.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. epic_wanderer

    I was thinking of starting a business selling hairbrushes shaped like microphones to teenage girls but this story has made me think twice.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. patlike

    Do it anyway. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Put “Gibson” on the side of them for good luck.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. epic_wanderer

    If I embed a dictaphone in it the performance will no longer be simulated! Phew, now I can call the lawyers off.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Random_H

    I wonder what guitar brand we’ll play in the next GH… :)

    As I see it, that’s not such a clever move by Gibson (providing they’re wrong). This kind of product placement is just the kind you’ll want as a maker of instruments. I think Fender or Dean will quite happily take Gibson’s place.

    cheers,

    Alex

    #6 6 years ago