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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.

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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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