Monday, March 24, 2008

Gibson Sues Over Guitar Hero And Rock Band

Gibson Guitar Corp has announced that it has filed its second patent infringement lawsuit in realtion to to the wildly popular "Rock Band" video game and Harmonix's previously developed game, "Guitar Hero."

The lawsuit, filed against Viacom Inc's MTV networks, Harmonix and Electronic Arts, relates to the same patent involved in another suit Gibson filed earlier against various retailers of "Guitar Hero," a competitor to "Rock Band,".

The original lawsuit filed last week against Wal-Mart, Target Corp., Kmart,, GameStop Corp. and Toys "R" Us claims the retailers should stop selling the games. Claiming they too closely match a musical virtual-reality patent from 1999.

Activision contends Gibson's patent assertions have no merit. Gibson has said it wants Activision to stop selling Guitar Hero until it gets a license under the patent.

"Our Guitar Hero retailing partners have done nothing wrong," Activision said in released statement. "We will confront this and any other efforts by Gibson to wrongfully interfere with Activision's relationship with its customers and its consumers."

The "Guitar Hero" series, published by Activision, has sold more than 14 million units in North America and raked in more than $1 billion since its 2005 debut, while "Rock Band" is a newer rival.

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