Gibson Guitar Hero Suit Tossed

By Mike on 6:22 pm

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Since when did law suits become a viable revenue stream for corporations? It's no wonder our courts are clogged. Seems every body and their brother is suing each other, sometimes for widely frivolous things. So is the case of instrument legend Gibson who sued Activision and several major retailers in March 2008 over the Guitar Hero controller. Gibson claimed that the controller infringed on US Patent 5,990,405, which covers "a system and method for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience." "Specifically, it details a head-mounted display that includes stereo speakers and is worn while playing an instrument along with a simulated concert" according to CNET.

The US District Court ruled that "as a general observation, no reasonable person of ordinary skill in the relevant arts would interpret the '405 Patent as covering interactive video games," stating that it only applied to devices with an analogue output. The court noted that Gibson's interpretation of the patent could apply from everything from "button of a DVD a pencil tapping a table" and that the case "border on the frivolous." The case was thrown out of court. The saga isn't over though. Still before the courts are Gibson's suit against Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart for selling the controller. Rock Band publisher MTV, Harmonix, and Electronic Arts are also under Gibson's legal corsairs. I must admit it's rather humourous seeing the entertainment industry sued for "IP theft", but what Gibson is doing is still an unethical business practice none the less.

Source: CNET

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