Following allegations against Activision that the publisher's Guitar Hero
violated a 1999 patent, Gibson has widened its suit to cover developer Harmonix and publisher MTV games for both Rock Band
, and Harmonix's pre-Activision Guitar Hero
The suit, as with Activision's, concerns a Gibson patent covering "technology used to simulate a musical performance." Wired consumer blog Game|Life has released the suit in its entirety (pdf
Most recently, the guitar manufacturer broadened its suit
to cover retailers as well, saying it filed "reluctantly," adding that it "is required to protect its intellectual property and will continue to do so against any other person in accordance with the law and its rights."
For its part, Activision has stated
"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."
With regards to the Harmonix suit, Gibson said in a statement, "Gibson Guitar had made good faith efforts to enter into a patent license agreement with the defendants in this case. The defendants have not responded in a timely manner with an intent to enter into negotiations for a patent license agreement. Gibson Guitar had no alternative but to bring the suit, and it will continue to protect its intellectual property rights against any and all infringing persons."