Gibson guitars goes after Activision’s guitar hero in patent dispute

Video game publisher Activision Inc. has asked a federal court to declare that its popular “Guitar Hero” game does not violate a patent held by real-guitar maker Gibson Guitar Corp.

Gibson’s 1999 patent covers a virtual-reality device that included a headset with speakers and that simulated participating in a concert, according to a complaint filed on Tuesday by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Gibson is trying to get Activision to stop selling “Guitar Hero” until it gets a license under the patent, according to the complaint. But Activision says it doesn’t want or need a license under the patent.

“We disagree with the applicability of their patent and would like a legal determination on this,” George Rose, Activision’s general counsel, said in a statement Wednesday.

No one answered an after-hours call to Nashville, Tenn.-based Gibson. (link)

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