Gibson 'Settles' Patent Lawsuit Over Guitar Hero

from the rock-on dept

You may recall that famed guitar maker Gibson started claiming that its patent (5,990,405) on a “simulated musical concert” system was being infringed upon by various musical video games. Gibson went nuclear, suing everyone it could possibly think of, including companies who were just retailers of the game for patent infringement. Pretty quickly a court told Gibson that the lawsuit “bordered on the frivolous” which didn’t bode well for Gibson. However, THREsq points us to the news that Gibson has “settled” the lawsuit and will be dropping the case. Given the way the courts reacted early on to the lawsuit, you have to imagine that “settlement” wasn’t for very much money. My guess is that Viacom offered Gibson something less than it would have cost to continue defending these lawsuits to make the company go back to focusing on making guitars.

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Companies: activision, gibson, viacom

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Comments on “Gibson 'Settles' Patent Lawsuit Over Guitar Hero”

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13 Comments
bradmoreso (profile) says:

Looks really stupid

This is actually more stupid than Commodore demanding money from Paramount in exchange for featuring the Amiga in Star Trek IV. One phone call to Apple from Paramount resulted in 20 Macs delivered + two techs onsite.

Apparently by the time Rock Band came out, Fender was smart enough to contribute the design for the guitar and the bass controllers that Harmonix sells. You can even get a Fender Mustang controller with Rock Band 3, and Fender licenses the Strat controller design.

Maybe Gibson was suing to get in on the deal. IMHO that would have worked better with honey than vinegar.

Gibson USA could stand to lighten its lawyer overhead, or at least to educate them on brand exposure/loyalty.

wowreally? says:

Just my op

clean and smooth? dirty and distorted? Neither are distorted, both are used with “distortion”. You really need to put down that controller and play a real guitar once in a while.
telecaster – tinny/plinkety single coils that are noisy
les paul – noiseless humbuckers with a nice clean sound

the amp does the distortion, foo’.

Erin (user link) says:

patent infringement

Patent Infringement is a growing problem. Since law does not require manufacturers to inform patent owners that they are using the patent owner’s invention, Patent infringement can be unintentional. In most cases, it will be up to the owner of the patent to pursue Patent Litigation, a costly and time consuming process. It is always a good idea, if you are going to get a patent, that you do extensive research to make sure that no one already has a patent, and that you continue to monitor the industry to ensure that no one uses your patent with out your consent.

Sarah (user link) says:

Gibson and guitar lessons

This totally makes me look at Gibson in a new light. I thought they were the kind of company that would stay out of this kind of legal non-sense. My first Guitar lessons were on a Gibson so I feel somewhat attached to it still. All of that said, I do understand that patents do carry a lot of weight in this country. Just think though, someone could sue Gibson for their design, it’s all the same to me.

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