Ubisoft accused of patent infringement over Rocksmith

Virtual guitar lessons have Ubisoft falling into some legal trouble

Guitar Apprentice has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ubisoft over Rocksmith, claiming the game violates United States Patent 8,119,896. Guitar Apprentice teaches users how to play guitar using video tutorials on PC or DVD, with basic chords marked by primary colors on a scrolling background. The patent in question relates to playing prerecorded songs, muting specific segments of those songs to be played by users, and the ability to increase or decrease the complexity of those segments according to a user's desire.

Patent 8,119,896 was filed in October of 2010, with Rocksmith not seeing release until October of the following year. Ubisoft could argue prior art, as the Rocksmith team took over development of a previous educational music project called Guitar Rising. Previous developer GameTank showed early prototypes of Guitar Rising to the press in February of 2008, and GameTank founder Jake Parks was a software engineer for Ubisoft until the game's release.

Guitar Apprentice's suit was filed in the Western District of Tennessee on April 5, 2012, according to Patent Arcade.

Related stories

Adapting a AAA mindset to live ops

Ubisoft's Noémi Rouleau discusses Rainbow Six Siege's shift from boxed product development to games-as-a-service

By Brendan Sinclair

Far Cry 5, The Crew delayed as Ubisoft revises profitability targets

The publisher is also moving one of its unannounced titles as it expects better profit for the 2017-18 fiscal year

By James Brightman

Latest comments (1)

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios5 years ago
Won't go through.

Apple tried to sue Microsoft a long time ago over 'look and feel' and failed miserably.

If this was possible, why didn't they sue over Guitar Hero? For that matter, why didn't Guitar Hero and Rockband create a huge lawsuit fiasco? (or did it?)

You can't sue over look and feel. Plus Rocksmith is more than just a video lesson to show you how to play, it becomes more intimate with the addition of actual input from the user and the game adapts to the user based on improvement, not the other way around where users have to increase the difficulty and complexity as they feel they're improving.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.