In a surprising move, Gibson Guitar has sued MTV Networks (parent company of Harmonix) and EA over the Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles. Gibson is claiming that both series infringe on one of its many patents and that the company was forced to sue when the companies showed their lack of intent to enter into negotiations for a patent license agreement.
Harmonix believes the entire situation is ridiculous. Their official statement is as follows:
"This lawsuit is completely without merit and we intend to defend it vigorously. Gibson's patent, filed nearly 10 years ago, required a 3D display, a real musical instrument and a recording of a concert. Rock Band and Guitar Hero are completely different: among other things they are games, require no headset and use a controller only shaped like a real instrument. It is unfortunate that Gibson unfairly desires to share in the tremendous success enjoyed by the developers of Rock Band and Guitar Hero."
Put in that context, we can't imagine how Gibson believes that the patent is applicable to Harmonix's music titles. Regardless, we'll keep you updated on the situation.