Guitar-maker Gibson Files Suit Against ‘Guitar Hero’ Retailers


Gibson’s not a fan of Guitar Hero

The longtime guitar manufacturer says Activision's popular game series too closely resembles a patent it has on a virtual concert simulation and participation.

Mar. 24, 2008 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Veteran guitar maker Gibson is trying to spoil the great rock ‘n’ roll party people are enjoying these days. Claiming that the game is a little to close to a patent it created, Gibson is suing retailers of Activision’s “Guitar Hero” series, saying they should stop selling the popular title.

Gibson had already sent a letter to Activision earlier this year that accused the video game publisher of infringing on a patent called “System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Concert Experience,” according to a suit filed by Activision in California asking for a judgment to the contrary.

Gibson went ahead and filed a lawsuit last week against major retailers Wal-Mart, Target Corp., Kmart,, GameStop Corp. and Toys “R” Us.

A copy of the 1999 patent included in Gibson’s lawsuit details a device that lets someone “simulate participation in a concert by playing a musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3-D display that includes stereo speakers.” I guess part of the question is, does Activision’s plastic guitar that everybody jams with to play Guitar Hero constitute a musical instrument? I don’t think it does much good when not plugged in.

Somehow I don’t think Guitar Hero’s coming off the shelves anytime soon. Maybe Gibson can let us continue to enjoy the game’s tunes and instead sue Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience.

Via: USA Today

Return to full story: