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Activision, Gibson Settle Latest Suit

Activision and guitar maker Gibson have settled their latest legal dispute over the Guitar Hero franchise, with a California judge subsequently dismissing the case.
Activision and guitar maker Gibson have been tangled in substantial legal controversy during the past year over a patent related to music games. Last week, however, the companies put their latest dispute to rest in a California district court. Court documents obtained by Gamasutra show that the two companies settled Activision Publishing vs. Gibson Guitar Corporation earlier this month. On April 17, the judge subsequently dismissed with prejudice both Activision's claims against Gibson and Gibson's counterclaims against the Guitar Hero publisher. In March, Activision filed suit against Gibson for a declaratory judgment. Activision wanted a court to declare that the Guitar Hero franchise did not infringe on Gibson's patent, "System and method for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience." Activision also wanted the court to find that the patent overall was invalid, among other claims of relief. Activision's request for a declaratory judgment followed just days after Gibson lost a previous Guitar Hero patent case, which Gibson filed against Activision last year. Activision and Gibson had entered into a licensing agreement that brought Gibson-branded guitar controllers to previous iterations of Guitar Hero, although Gibson's products no longer appear in new installments of the series. Activision has been entangled in a string of patent lawsuits ever since the company found commercial success within the music game genre. The latest finds the game maker embroiled in a court battle with Genius Products that relates to the upcoming title, DJ Hero from Activision.

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