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Gibson files 2nd lawsuit against game industry

Gibson Guitar Corp. says the game Guitar Hero also violates its 1999 patent. It sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and five other retailers earlier this week.

Gibson Guitar Corp. says the game Guitar Hero also violates its 1999 patent. It sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and five other retailers earlier this week.

NASHVILLE — Gibson Guitar Corp. has widened its attack on the video game industry with a second patent infringement lawsuit.

In a case filed Thursday in federal district court in Nashville, it says that by developing, distributing and promoting the video game Rock Band, Harmonix, MTV Networks and Electronic Arts are violating a virtual-reality patent the guitar maker holds.

The same 1999 patent is at issue in a separate lawsuit Gibson filed earlier in the week against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and five other retailers. The real-guitar maker says the stores are violating the patent by selling the Activision Inc. game Guitar Hero.

Before Gibson filed either lawsuit, Activision sued Gibson in Los Angeles this month asking for a federal court declaration that it is not violating Gibson's patent.

Gibson officials haven't said why the company is not suing Activision directly.

Representatives for Harmonix, MTV Networks and Electronic Arts — the companies Gibson sued Thursday over Rock Band — did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Harmonix also created and developed some of the Guitar Hero games.

Gibson said Friday that it had made "good faith efforts to enter into a patent license agreement with the defendants in this case.

Gibson wants the companies to pay damages for infringing on its patent and to stop selling Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the suit says.

A copy of the patent included in Gibson's lawsuit is dated Nov. 23, 1999, and describes a device that lets a user "simulate participation in a concert by playing a musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3-D display that includes stereo speakers."

Gibson files 2nd lawsuit against game industry 03/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:45am]

    

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