Gibson taking Activision to court

Gibson said the games, in which players press buttons on a guitar-shaped controller in time with notes on a TV screen, violates a 1999 patent for technology to simulate a musical performance.

List of GuitarFreaks games

GUITARFREAKS (February 1999)


Apparenly Konami didn’t get a patent in the States, someone at Gibson heard of it, and patented the mechanic here.

And then licensed their guitars’ likenesses to Activision. And then sued them.

I doubt this will go very far. They’re probably hoping Activision will just settle outright instead of spending money on legal fees.

I hope Activision uses PRS shaped guitars next game.

Official ATVI response:

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Mar 20, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) – The following statement was released today by Activision, Inc. in response to media and other inquiries related to Gibson Guitar Corporation’s lawsuit against retailers:

Gibson’s lawsuit is a transparent end run around an impartial court that Activision asked on March 11 to rule on patent assertions that Gibson knows have no merit. Our Guitar Hero retailing partners have done nothing wrong. We will confront this and any other efforts by Gibson to wrongfully interfere with Activision’s relationship with its customers and its consumers.

As Activision noted in its filing, Gibson waited three years to make its patent allegations, and only did so after it became clear that Activision was not interested in renewing its marketing and support agreement with Gibson. Activision continues to believe that Gibson’s claims are disingenuous and lack any justification.


Ahhh. That’s much clearer now. It’s sort of like extortion.

What guitar are they going to use for GH4?

That was the same thought I had. If they’re parting ways with Gibson, they’d need a new guitar to bundle with GH4.

The whole thing is insane.

Does seem to be a pissing match over Activision not renewing their licensing agreement with Gibson.

Fender monopoly?

Now they want Harmonix too

They’ve done a great job of ensuring I’ll never buy a Gibson guitar when I graduate from GH/RB to the real thing.

You say that now…

Also, you make Dave Long proud.

Steer clear of Epiphone as well.

I would love to see this Gibson vs. Activision matter being settled in Judge Judy’s court. The whole thing is a circus affair anyway, why not have a clown lead the court room.