Gibson’s claims are based on the U.S. Patent number 5990405, which was awarded to the company back in 1999. The patent reads:

 “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.”

On its defense Activision might come up with similar patents. The publisher was rumored to have purchased several such patents from Konami. The latter released a similar game back in 1999, dubbed Guitar Freaks.

For the time being, the publisher chose to point out that Gibson has been doing nothing for the past three years in terms of complaints (ever since the franchise was launched), thus granting Activision an implied license for any technology.

The publisher asked the the court to deem the patent invalid.