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Gibson Guitar Corp. Sues Retailers Over Guitar Hero Patent Infringement

On Monday, March 17th, Gibson Guitar Corp. brought a lawsuit against various retailers, including GameStop, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Amazon, and Toys "R" Us, seeking to prohibit sales of the games, which, Gibson asserts are infringing on one of Gibson Guitar's U.S. patents. The company claimed it took "this action reluctantly, but is required to protect its intellectual property."

The patent in question is Gibson's 1999 patent for "System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Concert Experience," which may in fact be in question due to Konami's GuitarFreaks game that made its debut in Japan in 1999, meaning it was most likely in the production and planning phases since 1998 at the latest - most likely earlier.

A licensing agreement was filed prior to the lawsuit regarding the replication of Gibson's guitar designs for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, PC, and PS2).

Activision went on the offensive and released the following statement:

"Gibson's lawsuit is a transparent end run around an impartial court that Activision asked on March 11 to rule on patent assertions that Gibson knows have no merit. Our Guitar Hero retailing partners have done nothing wrong. We will confront this and any other efforts by Gibson to wrongfully interfere with Activision's relationship with its customers and its consumers."

"As Activision noted in its filing, Gibson waited three years to make its patent allegations, and only did so after it became clear that Activision was not interested in renewing its marketing and support agreement with Gibson. Activision continues to believe that Gibson's claims are disingenuous and lack any justification."

In other Guitar Hero news, Guitar Hero has been announced for the Nintendo DS and the [incredibly dorky -ed] controller revealed. Watch the video below (after the jump).

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6 Comments on "Gibson Sues Retailers Over Guitar Hero"

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godlike's avatar

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1. godlike writes:

Perhaps Gibson should concentrate more on figureing out ways to make their guitars a little more affordable for the average person..!!

# Mar 27, 2008 @ 10:41 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. FocusShift writes:

How in the world do you get a patient for "System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Concert Experience?" Last time I checked Gibson did not control how all REAL concert experiences were made so why should they have any claim to simulated ones? Give me an LTD/ESP or an Ibanez over a Gibson any day.

# Mar 27, 2008 @ 3:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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3. CrawfordTexasJingoJango writes:

You have got to be kidding me.

Why don't we all fight over a fxcking plate of nachos while we're at it?

# Mar 27, 2008 @ 3:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

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4. godlike writes:

LTD/ESP or an Ibeenhad..??? those are both made at the same Samick factory that makes Epiphones, Schecters, BC Riches and most of the other cheaper middle of the road guitar brands...

I own a Gibson Les Paul... but it surely isnt the greatest thing Ive ever played..!!
that designation goes to my Kramer Nightswan...
The real Gibsons are great guitars.. but there are so many cheaper brands that are made of the same exact woods....if a person does it the smart way...
they buy one of the cheaper brands...install better pickups and hardware and save a ton of money that they can spend on a stack.!!

Whitford St Holmes - Sharpshooter

# Mar 27, 2008 @ 5:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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5. chin_grin writes:

Sorry that my knowledge of guitars is somewhat lacking. (read: I haven't a f*ckin notion!....I'm a drummer you see!) But I WANT THAT DS GAME! :D And yeah I cannot believe that Gibson have done this. The rebuttal from Activision is poetic though.

# Mar 28, 2008 @ 6:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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6. fade_to_black writes:

man i wish i had a ds after watching that video...

# Mar 28, 2008 @ 10:02 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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