Here's a little article I found on Google News for all you Guitar Hero gamers. Looks like Gibson wants to cash in the popular game.
"Guitar Hero' Subject of Patent Dispute"
By ALEX VEIGA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Video game publisher Activision Inc. has asked a federal court to declare that its popular "Guitar Hero" game does not violate a patent held by real-guitar maker Gibson Guitar Corp.
Gibson's 1999 patent covers a virtual-reality device that included a headset with speakers and that simulated participating in a concert, according to a complaint filed on Tuesday by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Gibson is trying to get Activision to stop selling "Guitar Hero" until it gets a license under the patent, according to the complaint. But Activision says it doesn't want or need a license under the patent.
"We disagree with the applicability of their patent and would like a legal determination on this," George Rose, Activision's general counsel, said in a statement Wednesday.
No one answered an after-hours call to Nashville, Tenn.-based Gibson.
The dispute arose in January, when Gibson attorneys sent Activision a letter accusing it of violating a patent titled "System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Concert Experience," according to the complaint.
A copy of the patent included in the lawsuit and dated Nov. 23, 1999, describes a device that lets a user "simulate participation in a concert by playing musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3-D display that includes stereo speakers."
The device described in the patent also includes playback of audio and video of a prerecorded concert and a separate track of audio from the user's instrument, according to the patent form.
"Guitar Hero" users play songs using a stringless, plastic guitar by following graphics displayed on a TV connected to a game console. The TV also displays animated musicians playing along.
All the versions of "Guitar Hero" have been a boon to Activision. The company reported last month a 90 percent increase in profit for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, in part due to strong sales of "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock."
Shares of Activision fell 31 cents, or about 1 percent, to $26.82.