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'Guitar Hero' maker denies patent violation charges

Posted: 14 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Guitar Hero? patent violation? game console?

Activision Inc. has requested a U.S. federal court to declare that its "Guitar Hero" game does not violate a patent held by Gibson Guitar Corp., according to an Associated Press report.

Gibson attorneys sent a letter to Activision in January accusing the game video game publisher of violating a patent titled "System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Musical Concert Experience," Gibson's 1999 patent that covers a virtual-reality device that included a headset with speakers and that simulated participating in a concert.

The guitar maker has filed a suit to stop Activision from selling "Guitar Hero" until it gets a license under the patent, according to the complaint. Activision, however, maintains that it does not want or need a license under the patent.

George Rose, Activision general counsel, said in a statement that the company does not agree with the applicability of Gibson's patent and would seek a legal determination on the matter.

Gibson's 199 patent describes a device that lets a user "simulate participation in a concert by playing musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3D display that includes stereo speakers." The device also includes playback of audio and video of a prerecorded concert and a separate track of audio from the user's instrument.

Meanwhile, the "Guitar Hero" game allows users to play songs using a stringless, plastic guitar by following graphics displayed on a TV connected to a game console.




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