Friday, March 14, 2008

The Guitar Hero Patent Scandal

Reuters (and a couple dozen other news sources) reports here that Gibson Guitar is suing Activision, claiming that Activision's popular Guitar Hero video game infringes Gibson's 1999 patent number 5990405 for "System and Method for Generating and Controlling a Simulated Music Concert."

See Gibson's patent here.

See the Guitar Hero patent here.

This is a good illustration of how patents are enforced. The USPTO does not take any action to enforce patents once they are granted. It's up to a patent holder to pursue perceived infringement through courts, like Gibson is doing right now.

Also, if you take a look at the patents, you can see that infringement isn't always cut and dry. Do you think Gibson has a good case?

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