Activision and Gibson Guitars wrangle over patent to video game guitars

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Activision Inc. has sued Gibson Guitar Corp., saying its popular video game “Guitar Hero” doesn’t infringe on a Gibson patent.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, asks the court to declare the video game doesn’t infringe on the Nashville, Tenn., musical instrument maker’s patent for a “system and method for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience” and that Gibson’s patent is invalid.

“Despite being aware of the Guitar Hero game for many years, Gibson has encouraged Activision to manufacture and sell devices it now alleges infringe” the patent, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges that Gibson notified Activision in January that it believed the “Guitar Hero” software and its guitar-shaped controller were covered by Gibson’s patent. Gibson asked that Activision obtain a license from the instrument maker under the patent or stop sales of the game, according to the lawsuit.

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