Guitar Hero, for better or worse, has become one of the most successful game series of our day. Activision has seen tremendous success recently, largely in part due to this game. Recently, the series has become a target of a lawsuit, in which a company is claiming infringement on a patent they filed 9 years ago.
Today, Activision has asked the court to declare the patent invalid and prevent them from having to pay any money. Gibson Guitar, the company suing them, is actually a partner of theirs, and has been for some time – specifically for Guitar Hero games. In fact, Activision already pays the company money in order to model their controllers after Gibson's products. So why are they biting the hand that is feeding them? And why did they wait so long to speak up about it? The latter is easy to figure out – more money in the deal after the game became successful. The former is not so easy to figure out.