Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Gibson Loses  Guitar Hero  Patent Infringement Battle
Gibson Loses Guitar Hero Patent Infringement Battle
March 3, 2009 | By Chris Remo

March 3, 2009 | By Chris Remo
Comments
    1 comments
More: Console/PC



More than a year after guitar manufacturer Gibson first informed Guitar Hero publisher Activision it may be infringing a Gibson patent, a California U.S. District Court has dismissed the accusation.

Gibson's patent, U.S. Patent No. 5,990,405, describes a "System and Method For Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Experience," and is intended to involve the user playing an actual musical instrument, accompanied by a backing track and prerecorded visuals.

After unsuccessfully attempting to convince Activision to license the patent, Activision filed a complaint of non-infringement against Gibson.

This alleged that not only do Guitar Hero's systems and peripherals not fall under the domain of the patent, but Gibson had for years allowed and encouraged the sale of Guitar Hero products without complaint. In fact, a number of official Guitar Hero controllers have borne the Gibson logo.

As reported by the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Trademark Attorney Blog, the court determined that "Gibson's doctrine of equivalents arguments border on the frivolous," painting a clear distinction between the "actual operation of a musical instrument" as specified in the patent, and the interactions in Guitar Hero.

Assigning equivalency, the court said, would open up similar accusations to the use of a "button of a DVD remote" or "a pencil tapping a table."

"As a general observation, no reasonable person of ordinary skill in the relevant arts would interpret the '405 Patent as covering interactive video games," reads the ruling.


Related Jobs

Activision Publishing
Activision Publishing — Santa Monica, California, United States
[10.31.14]

Tools Programmer-Central Team
Vicarious Visions / Activision
Vicarious Visions / Activision — Albany, New York, United States
[10.31.14]

VFX Artist-Vicarious Visions
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand
[10.30.14]

Level Designer
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand
[10.30.14]

Lead Game Designer










Comments


Geoffrey Mackey
profile image
I'm glad they lost so swiftly. I was shocked Gibson would try this. It's a classic penny-wise pound-foolish scenario. Gibson wanted apparently wanted royalties for doing nothing, which they didn't get. In response Activision stopped licensing their products. I don't know who works in Gibson's legal department but I'd probably want them fired.


none
 
Comment: