MTV Games, Gibson resolve patent tussle

Guitar-maker settles year-old patent infringement complaint against Rock Band developer, publisher, and retailers.

With Harmonix currently devoted to Rock Band 3, the developer won't have to worry about ongoing courtroom drama, as the company has settled a long-standing legal assault with Gibson.

According to a BusinessWeek report, Gibson Guitar Corp. has settled a patent infringement claim with Electronic Arts, Viacom, and various retailers over the Rock Band series.

Guitar maker sues plastic guitar maker - no one wins.

The companies appeared in front of a judge June 4 and communicated “that they had reached a full settlement,” according to Tennessee federal court documents. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, but the two will seek dismissal of the case by June 14, according to documents.

Nashville-based Gibson, famous for manufacturing B.B. King's famous "Lucille" style guitar and Led Zeppelin frontman Jimmy Paige's "Les Paul," sued Harmonix, MTV Games, and distribution partner EA in 2008. The suit claimed that Rock Band and its plastic guitar peripheral violated Gibson's 1999 patent for "a system for electronically simulating participation by a user in a pre-recorded musical performance."

Gibson also took music-game competitor Activision and its Guitar Hero brand to court over the same principle in 2009, though the case was later thrown out.

The Rock Band franchise expanded recently with the release of Green Day: Rock Band and follows with Rock Band 3, confirmed for the 2010 holiday season.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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15 comments
Jrock7
Jrock7

This whole thing is stupid. Just having fun and then get sued. I want to know what the terms of settlement are. Either way didn't stop the series for a second.

Jimbowesker
Jimbowesker

Rock Band 3 couldn't come any sooner.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

So then why wasn't the lawsuit against Rock Band thrown out?!

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

So more realistic guitars??? Gibson Thunderbird please

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

The most hilarious part is that they sued Activision over Guitar Hero when GH3 came out, even though Gibson actually "sponsored" the game by making a deal with Activision to include their guitars, such as the aforementioned Les Paul. In fact, the controller itself WAS a replica Les Paul.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Obviously, there is a difference between a) an electric guitar b) a video game controller Somebody's lawyers smelled money.

demonic_85
demonic_85

Sounds like a dumb lawsuit considering Gibson gave them permission to model the controller after their guitars. My favorite guitar was the GH2 SG, it still works great. I find the RB2 guitar to be the most comfortable though.

Bladescorpion
Bladescorpion

GH is lame. Go buy an ephiphone les paul, fender standard strat, or squier strat plus Rock House Method: Learn Electric guitar dvds. Good as any lessons and way cheaper. Why play with an overprice fisher price toy guitar, when you can learn the real thing?

bored_gamer
bored_gamer

so they're gonna use plastic versions of Gibson guitars again? I still think that the 360's Les Paul controller is the best guitar controller

dstv
dstv

wow....such a low number of comments on this one

Pete5506
Pete5506

I want a good strum bar, I could care less what it looks like

Zwiebelschnucki
Zwiebelschnucki

well, that s what they get paid for. no cases, no jobs.

auron_16
auron_16

yesss a les paul controller maybe! :D

thpghalo3
thpghalo3

this might mean that they will have a Les Paul controller. this will be intresting....=)