MARCH 3 I GIBSON I LEGAL
Gibson Loses Guitar Hero Case
Activision, maker of the Guitar Hero video game, has won its case against Gibson. On Feb. 26, the District Court for the Central District of California ruled against Gibson, denying its patent infringement claims.
Activision filed a declaratory judgment in March 2008 after Gibson asked the video game maker to obtain a license for its game controllers. Gibson claimed the controllers infringed on its 1999 patent for technology to simulate musical performances (a.k.a. the ’405 patent). The court’s decision ruled that Gibson’s patent only covers musical instruments, not game controllers, such as those featured in Guitar Hero.
“Guitar Hero controllers are not musical instruments because the sounds they make are not ‘musical’ within the ’405 patent’s meaning,” read the decision by the District Court for the Central District of California. MI