Gibson Can't Resist, Sues Another Video Game For Infringement, Despite Being Smacked Down By Court Last Time

from the remember-last-time dept

You may remember a few years back when Gibson Guitars sued a ton of companies -- video game makers, retailers and more -- for supposedly violating patent 5,990,405 on creating a simulated musical concert. In the lawsuit, Gibson suggested that "the '405 Patent covers any system where a user controls something 'musical' with any device." Yeah. Well, last time around, the court did not look too kindly on these claims, and told Gibson that suing over this patent "bordered on frivolous" and noted that "no reasonable person of ordinary skill in the relevant arts would interpret the '405 Patent as covering interactive video games."

Following that ruling, Gibson quickly "settled" the lawsuit. But, apparently it was just itching to try again. Via Mike Wokasch, we learn that Gibson has sued again, over the same patent, this time targeting 745 LLC, the makers of the game "PowerGig: Rise of the SixString." Now, at least this game is a little bit closer to what Gibson had claimed in the patent. PowerGig is basically a really weak Guitar Hero clone, with the big difference being that the device is actually a real guitar. Still, it seems like a huge stretch to claim that then makes the patent apply. The judge was pretty clear last time that no reasonable person would interpret the patent to cover interactive video games, but apparently Gibson is hoping whoever hears the case this time is not, in fact, a reasonable person.


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  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Oh Gibson

    If you can't play nice with your money, then you won't have any.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Gibson is hoping whoever hears the case this time is not, in fact, a reasonable person.

    I would not be shy in taking that bet either.

    "the '405 Patent covers any system where a user controls something 'musical' with any device."
    Really? A swift kick in the groin to the examiner that approved that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Trent Valentine, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    I don't see why Gibson would want to sue these companies. If anything, these games bolster the sales of their guitars, because kids play, and then maybe they'll want the real thing. You never see anyone giving up playing real guitar to play these games instead though. It's pure advertising for Gibson, they're not losing anything.

     

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  4.  
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    Huph, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Gibson is hoping whoever hears the case this time is not, in fact, a reasonable person.

    You'd better hope that examiner doesn't belt out a B flat upon being controlled by your swift kick device, lest you find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit from Gibson.

     

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  5.  
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    Lirodon, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Well

    No game this/i> bad should have the privilege to have anything by Eric Clapton in it, especially Layla, and especially under exclusive deals. In before video game blog style RB vs. GH-esque whining.

     

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  6.  
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    cc (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Gibson is hoping whoever hears the case this time is not, in fact, a reasonable person.

    Yes, my thoughts exactly.

    If I read this correctly, every musician in the world does what this patent describes (on a daily basis!): record instrument tracks separately as they add them together to mix the final song.

    I can't possibly fathom what the "expert" in question was thinking when this patent was approved. In my opinion, both the examiner and Gibson deserve a kick in the groin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    ethorad (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    apparently Gibson is hoping whoever hears the case this time is not, in fact, a reasonable person

    Quite, they're banking that the case will be heard by a member of the judiciary ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Dave, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Down with Gibson

    I'm a guitarist. I've really enjoyed playing Gibson guitars in the past. But the leaders are idiots, as proven by this suit. It goes right to the top. Their CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is known to be one of the biggest a-holes to work for.

    Enjoy some Gibson rotten workplace highlights!

    I just saw an official Gibson forum post where someone asked about this. Henry's reply was pretty funny, like a non-denial denial. "I can't address anonymous postings, they don't know me..." and so on. As if anyone would ever be frank about the boss to their face. :) And he's acting like the people never worked there.

    It's a moot point for me. Their guitars are totally unaffordable. And many are good, but they're still way over-priced. So I guess they think they should punch up sales by making money the old-fashioned way, suing people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    DS, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    I feel bad for the Power Gig guys.. the game isn't selling, the guitar isn't selling, they laid off a lot of their software team in December, and now this. Gibson may very well win this, because the Power Gig guys may not have any money to defend themselves.

     

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  10.  
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    DJ (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    It really is a shame that there are so many crooked judges that such views exist in the general public (myself included).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    Gibson got a patent on MIDI technology?

    WTF?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Guess we are going to have to switch to Ibanez.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    fritz43, Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Gibson

    Just one more reason to buy a Martin or Taylor guitar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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