The long-standing partnership between video games firm Activision and guitar maker Gibson has run into trouble - with Activision filing a lawsuit in response to claims by Gibson that its Guitar Hero game infringes one of its patents.
Activision licensed the rights to use Gibson's iconic electric guitars as the model for the game's controllers. It also used depictions of the guitars within the game.
At issue are claims from Gibson that Guitar Hero violates a patent Gibson obtained in July 1998 for 'a system for electronically simulating participation by a user in a prerecorded musical performance'.
A statement from Gibson read in part: "Gibson has rights to request a licence of Activision, which is currently using its patent as it relates to the guitar controllers. In addition, the company has encouraged Activision to enter into discussions in an effort to secure a conclusion to the matter.
"Instead Activision chose to release a public statement to media and to file a lawsuit. Gibson Guitar stands behind its claim in this matter. Gibson intends to vigorously defend its rights and to pursue any rights it may have against Activision and any other persons."
However, according to a report on Ecommerce Times, Activision has apparently argued in court documents that Gibson has been aware of the Guitar Hero game for several years and it 'encouraged' Activision to make the devices it now says are an infringement.