updated 04:45 pm EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
Gibson vs. Guitar Hero
Activision's popular Guitar Hero rhythm games are breaking the law, charges legendary guitar maker Gibson. The company has publicly accused Activision of infringing on a patent from 1999, which involves technology simulating a musical performance; in Guitar Hero, one or two players strum along on a simplified guitar, in time to on-screen notes. Reuters notes that Activision denies any wrongdoing, and is in fact asking the US District Court for Central California to render Gibson's patent invalid.
The conflict represents an unusual turn for Gibson, as it previously appeared to have a friendly relationship with Activision; its products can be found in the series, and the Wii, Xbox and PlayStation controllers for Guitar Hero III are all modeled after one of Gibson's signature instruments, the Les Paul.