Gibson Sues Rock Band

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Guitar manufacturer Gibson is widening the net in its quest for cash, following its Guitar Hero lawsuit against Activision with similar actions against the makers of Rock Band.

According to a Next Generation report, Gibson is suing Electronic Arts, MTV Networks and Harmonix for infringing on the same patent they claim Activision violated with Guitar Hero. The patent, issued in 1999, describes a “system and method for generating and controlling a simulated music concert experience” which will “simulate participation in a concert by playing a musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3D display that includes stereo speakers.”

“Gibson Guitar has made good faith efforts to enter into a patent license agreement with the defendants in this case,” the company said in a statement. “The defendants have not responded in a timely manner with an intent to enter into negotiations for a patent license agreement. Gibson Guitar had no alternative but to bring the suit, and it will continue to protect its intellectual property rights against any and all infringing persons.”

Harmonix defended its game in a brief release of its own, pointing out the differences between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games and the technology described in the patent, and adding, “It is unfortunate that Gibson unfairly desires to share in the tremendous success enjoyed by the developers of Rock Band and Guitar Hero.”

Gibson announced last week that it was suing Guitar Hero publisher Activision for patent infringement as a result of the game, despite Gibson’s partnership with Activision in the development of Guitar Hero controllers since the game’s 2005 launch. Activision has said the claims are “disingenuous and lack any justification.”

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