MARCH 14 I GIBSON, ACTIVISION I LEGAL
‘Guitar Hero’ Maker Fights Gibson Patent Claim
On March 11, Activision, maker of the Guitar Hero video game, filed a complaint in federal court in Los Angeles against Gibson Guitars. The Nashville, Tenn.-based guitar company had told Activision to get a license or stop selling Guitar Hero.
According to a March 12 article in Bloomberg News, Activision said in a lawsuit that Guitar Hero doesn’t infringe a Gibson Guitar patent for creating a “simulated musical concert experience.”
“Despite being aware of the Guitar Hero game for many years, Gibson has encouraged Activision to manufacture and sell devices it now alleges infringe” its patent, the game maker said in the complaint.
North American sales of Guitar Hero games surpassed $1 billion in 26 months, Activision said in January. Guitar Hero features Gibson guitars in gameplay, and the guitar-shaped controllers are fashioned after Gibson’s Flying V, SG, Explorer and Les Paul shapes.
In December 2007, Activision merged with Vivendi SA’s video game unit in a $9.8 billion transaction. The combined company will surpass Electronic Arts as the world’s largest video game company.