After slapping retailers selling Guitar Hero with a lawsuit, Gibson today said it has also filed suit against EA and MTV, publisher of Rock Band and parent company of Harmonix, respectively. While the Reuters report doesn't mention Rock Band by name, which happens to use Fender brand guitars and controllers, the suit may implicate the EA/MTV Games title as violating Gibson's patent for simulating an on screen musical performances. It is, after all, simply a better Guitar Hero. Let's hope Guitar Centre has a big Gibson blow out sale this weekend, setting the manufacturer up with some obviously much needed cash.
Update: Gibson has provided a statement indicating that it "had no alternative but to bring the suit", naming Rock Band and developers Harmonix in court documents. More info after the jump.
A portion of the statement from Gibson provides more insight and reasoning into the action against MTV Networks (Viacom), Electronic Arts and Harmonix.
This new lawsuit relates to the same U.S. Patent involved in the lawsuit filed by Gibson Guitar recently against various retailers in the same court. Gibson Guitar had made good faith efforts to enter into a patent licence agreement with the defendants in this case. The defendants have not responded in a timely manner with an intent to enter into negotiations for a patent licence agreement. Gibson Guitar had no alternative but to bring the suit, and it will continue to protect its intellectual property rights against any and all infringing persons.
The law suit mentions the Guitar Hero products for which Harmonix was responsible—Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s—and Rock Band as the infringing products at issue. We've contacted Gibson and Harmonix for further statements.
Gibson sues MTV, EA over "Guitar Hero" [Reuters]