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Gibson's possible patent on Guitar Hero idea

It seems that Gibson might be trying to stop Guitar Hero like games.
Activision filed a lawsuit asking the US District Court for Central
California to invalidate a 1999 Gibson patent on "simulating a musical
performance". I don't think this applies to Frets on Fire, but just in
case, does anyone think this could affect us?


Gibson is trying to get Activision to stop selling "Guitar Hero" until
it gets a license under the patent, according to the complaint. But
Activision says it doesn't want or need a license under the patent.


Gibson's system is designed to be used with a "musical instrument" --
and no matter what the Guitar Zeros have to say, it seems unlikey that
Guitar Hero controllers, or a computer keyboard, really qualifies.



Abstract of the patent:

A musician can simulate participation in a concert by playing a
musical instrument and wearing a head-mounted 3D display that includes
stereo speakers. Audio and video portions of a musical concert are
pre-recorded, along with a separate sound track corresponding to the
musical instrument played by the musician. Playback of the instrument
sound track is controlled by signals generated in the musical
instrument and transmitted to a system interface box connected to the
audio-video play back device, an audio mixer, and the head-mounted
display. An external bypass switch allows the musician to suppress the
instrument sound track so that the sounds created by actual playing of
the musical instrument are heard along with the pre-recorded audio and
video portions.


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