Gibson Loses Patent Infringement Case Against Guitar Hero
When Gibson announced that they were suing Guitar Hero, Rock Band, retailers and basically anyone who touched or even looking in the general direction of a music performance game, we were, to say the least, dismayed.
Why would Henry Juszkiewicz, who’s been unleashing some pretty innovative guitars on the market, stoop to the level of a patent terrorist and claim that their weak patent for “simulating a musical performance” would actually hold any water. Whether or not he received poor legal advice can be considered, but he’s still ultimately responsible for waving the big, green, “Go!” flag.
Well, the US District Court for the Central District of California just ruled that Guitar Hero doesn’t infringe Gibson’s patent since Guitar Hero’s controllers are not actually “musical instruments.” The court classified them as “toys that represent other items.” Even more damaging for Henry’s company is that the court ruled that Gibson’s patent specifics analog signal output, and not digital or MIDI control. So that most likely kills some follow-up patent terror missions.
What’s worse for Juszkiewicz is the legal and public backlash against Gibson. The company reportedly used shady legal tactics, didn’t deliver the necessary documents to their own lawyers in a timely fashion, and went through a couple of legal “teams” during the process. Worse yet, is their brand took a public beating, not only from gamers, but from the music industry who found their lawsuit to be distasteful and sad.