Konami Suing Viacom (and Harmonix) Over Rock Band
Just as soon as I get done complimenting them, a lawsuit pops up against Harmonix, MTV Networks, and parent company Viacom. Konami is suing the makers of Rock Band over what it alleges to be patent violations by the ultra-popular rhythm game.
Konami’s patents were filed in 2002 and 2003 and relate to simulated musical instruments and a “musical-rhythm matching game,” reports Bloomberg.
The wording of that makes me think it’s only a matter of time before Activision and Sony face similar lawsuits, as both Guitar Hero and SingStar match those descriptions pretty fully. And quite a lot of other games, for that matter.
Konami is apparently seeking both cash considerations and an order to block Harmonix from using the various instruments. The suit was filed yesterday in Marshall, Texas, but Viacom spokesperson Kelly McAndrew claimed the company hadn’t received any complaint, and thusly had no comment.
It’s worth noting that Konami is scheduled to release Rock Revolution later this year. The company originally released GuitarFreaks and DrumMania back in 1999, the former of which is considered to be the precursor to Guitar Hero (and, by extension, Rock Band). They never brought those series over to the Unites States, a fact which you can bet Konami shareholders cry themselves to sleep over every time they see the money that Guitar Hero and Rock Band have brought in.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops. With the release of Rock Band 2 just two months away (on Xbox 360), Harmonix will have to move swiftly on this.