Ubisoft Sued Over Apparent Rocksmith Patent Infringement
Guitar Hero is a pretty cool concept but the ironic thing is that a lot of professional guitarists suck at the game while those who just play Guitar Hero are not necessarily any good at real guitar. The obvious conclusion is that Guitar Hero teaches you as much about playing the instrument as CoD teaches you about firing a gun. Ubisoft then came up with a novel idea whereby players could plug their actual guitar into their console and would be able to learn to play it with Guitar Hero-style tutorials.
Wouldn’t you know it, they’ve been sued for patent infringement by Guitar Apprentice, a company that makes guitar tutorials. The infraction is apparently that Rocksmith incorporates a musical instruction pertaining to users playing an instrument to audio signals.
According to Ross Dannenberg of Patent Arcade, “The ’896 patent was only filed in October 2010, claiming priority to a provisional application file June 30, 2010, so I suspect there is going to be a validity fight based on any prior art out there.” Although the mediums are different, with Guitar Apprentice being in video format available online or in DVD-format, the basic method of teaching a person to play guitar with finger placements is quite similar.
Guitar Apprentice will have to get in line behind Game Tank who is suing the Canadian developer/publisher over gameplay mechanics while UK band Rocksmith is challenging Ubisoft for obvious reasons. Take note, Bethesda, that’s plausible grounds for a lawsuit over a name. If you’re a music teacher and would like to sue Ubisoft for potentially losing you students or perhaps Ubisoft employees accosted you, now is the time to lawyer up and sue their asses.