Edge reports that Gibson had claimed its US Patent 5,990,405 for a “system and method for generating and controlling a simulated musical concert experience”. The patent details a head-mounted music system that allows players to play real instruments alongside a simulated concert.
However, the claim was dismissed as Guitar Hero uses plastic approximations of instruments that do not require musical skill to play. Nor does it utilise a 3D headset.
“Gibson’s doctrine of equivalents arguments border on the frivolous,” the court ruled. “As a general observation, no reasonable person of ordinary skill in the relevant arts would interpret the ‘405 Patent as covering interactive videogames.”
Activision licenses the use of the Gibson brand in its Guitar Hero titles.