The spat between guitar maker Gibson, and Guitar Hero maker Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) escalated this week, as Gibson filed suit against several retailers in hopes of stopping the game’s sale. It was revealed last week that Gibson believes Activision is infringing on one of its old patents for a simulated concert experience. In a statement, Gibson said it tried to settle things with Activision out of court, but that because Activision went to court pre-emptively, to get Gibson’s patent nullified, it had to take the more aggressive action. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Target Corp., Kmart, Amazon.com (NSDQ: AMZN), GameStop Corp. and Toys “R” Us are among the named retailers, reports AP.
Activision has fired back, claiming that the only reason Gibson has brought this up is because Activision has decided not to renew a marketing and support agreement it had with the company. As we noted last week, it seemed odd that the two companies would fight over patents, while having an agreement on the likeness of Gibson guitars in the game. Now it sounds like in future versions there may be no more rocking the Les Pauls.
Update: Gibson is adding to its list of targets, and has filed suit against the game’s original creator Harmonix (owned by Viacom), as well as Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS), claiming that it too is infringing on that some patent. In a statement, it says the lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Tennessee, was only filed after the companies refused to negotiate on patent licensing. Statement.