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Harmonix fights Konami's lawsuit in the best way: by suing them back.

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
edited February 2009 in Games and Technology
Viacom/Harmonix Countersue Konami Over Rock Revolution

The logic of this is borderline insane, but Konami deserves a taste of their own medicine, so for once, I welcome this kind of insanity.
After Konami's suit against Rock Band, Viacom is now counter-suing Konami for Rock Revolution's patent infringement of Viacom's "improved controller patent".

Bloomberg Article
Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Viacom Inc. and its Harmonix studio sued Konami Corp., claiming the Japanese company’s “Rock Revolution” game violates a patent for game controllers that simulate musical instruments.

The complaint, filed yesterday in federal court in Boston, seeks to block sales of the video game by Tokyo-based Konami, plus cash compensation. Konami also makes the “Dance Dance Revolution” game and the “Metal Gear Solid” espionage game.

Konami began selling “Rock Revolution” in October to compete with “Rock Band” by Harmonix and “Guitar Hero” by Activision Blizzard Inc. “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” together accounted for 16 percent of video-game software sales in December, according to researcher NPD Group Inc.

Konami sued Harmonix and New York-based Viacom in July, claiming “Rock Band” infringes two of its patents for simulating musical instruments. Viacom is seeking to have that case transferred from a federal court in Marshall, Texas, to the one in Boston because Harmonix is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Viacom patent, issued Dec. 2, claims it is an improvement of earlier video-game controllers that emulate musical instruments, and cites the Beatmania series of games by Konami as an example of the older inventions.

Konami doesn’t comment on pending litigation, said Jay Boor, a company spokesman, in an e-mail.

Konami American depositary receipts, each representing one ordinary share, fell 37 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $16.23 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have lost 37 percent of their value since the beginning of the year. Viacom’s Class B shares rose 66 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $16.29. They have dropped 15 percent this year.

The case is Harmonix Music Systems Inc. v. Konami Digital Entertainment Co., 09cv10206, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston). The earlier case is Konami Digital Entertainment Co. v. Harmonix Music Systems Inc., 08cv286, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).


Is this petty, or poetic justice?

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cj iwakura on

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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think this is the last thing the industry needs at the moment.

    Henroid on
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    JouleJoule Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Improved controller? What? Citing Beatmania as an example of older inventions is pretty funny.

    Joule on
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    MarikirMarikir Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    From what I've seen and heard of legal battles...this is pretty much SOP.


    Funny that Konami lost stock value while Viacom's stock went up.

    Marikir on
    steam_sig.png "Hiding in plain sight." PSN/XBL: Marikir
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Viacom is seeking to have that case transferred from a federal court in Marshall, Texas, to the one in Boston because Harmonix is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    This part stuck out to me quite a bit, especially looking back at the Worlds.com lawsuit. If Viacom succeeds in getting the venue changed from the notorious East Texas circuit to somewhere else, I don't see Konami pushing this suit too much further.

    korodullin on
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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    korodullin wrote: »
    Viacom is seeking to have that case transferred from a federal court in Marshall, Texas, to the one in Boston because Harmonix is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    This part stuck out to me quite a bit, especially looking back at the Worlds.com lawsuit. If Viacom succeeds in getting the venue changed from the notorious East Texas circuit to somewhere else, I don't see Konami pushing this suit too much further.

    Really, east texas is a blight upon patent law

    Spoit on
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    FawstFawst The road to awe.Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The only thing I can figure is that Viacom is looking to settle, and the only way to get Konami to listen to reason is to slap them with a silly lawsuit.

    Really, the idea of trying to patent a controller based on an instrument is fucking stupid. Imagine if there were ever a war in the realm of flight stick controllers? Come on. What this all comes down to is Company A made a game that Company B made better, and Company A wants a piece of the pie.

    Someone please call in a fucking wah-mbulence.

    Fawst on
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