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Gibson sues Harmonix, Viacom, EA over Guitar Hero

Following Activision's filing of a pre-emptive lawsuit last week – asking a judge to dismiss guitar-maker Gibson's Guitar Hero patent claim and later saying it had "no merit" – and then Gibson's lawsuit against major retailers selling the game, Gibson has now filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ... well, not Activision. No, Gibson has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against former Guitar Hero developer Harmonix; Harmonix's parent company's parent company, Viacom; and Rock Band publisher and all around Guitar Hero-less innocent bystander Electronic Arts.

Gibson is claiming the aforementioned companies violate their 1999 patent covering "a system for electronically simulating participation by a user in a pre-recorded musical performance." For their money – even though they're not the ones being sued – Activision claims that "by waiting three years to raise its claim, Gibson had granted an implied license for any technology." Regardless of the outcome or the number of Gibson-branded plastic guitars out there, we suspect it won't be getting a fruit basket from the video game industry this holiday.

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