Case Update: July 2012:
On July 5, Guitar Apprentice filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice that has ended litigation started earlier in April. An order of dismissal was signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr. on July 12, 2012. It has not been released whether the two parties have reached a settlement agreement or not.
Guitar Apprentice sued Ubisoft on April 5, 2012, in the Western District of Tennessee for patent infringement of USP 8,119,896. Court docket 2:12-cv-02265-SHM-dkv. The ‘896 patent is titled “Media system and method of progressive musical instruction.” Ubisoft is the publisher of Rocksmith, a game I must admit I LOVE.
Claim 1 of the ‘896 patent reads:
1. A system for progressive musical instruction comprising:
a processor-readable memory medium having software residing thereon,
the software executable by a processor to direct the performance of generating audio signals corresponding to a predetermined musical performance,
the audio signals in a first operating mode including prerecorded sounds from each of one or more musical instruments associated with the musical performance,
the audio signals in a second operating mode including sounds from said instruments with the exception of a predetermined musical instrument; generating display signals corresponding to the musical performance,
the display signals arranged to provide musical instruction to a user relating to playing of the predetermined musical instrument during at least the second operating mode; and
in association with successive iterations of the musical performance, incrementing a duration of the second mode and decrementing a duration of the first mode.
The ‘896 patent was only filed in October 2010, claiming priority to a provisional application file June 30, 2010, so I suspect there is going to be a validity fight based on any prior art out there. For example, I’ve previously posted regarding Guitar Star and Guitar Rising, which Wikipedia (as accurate as it may be) indicates had a public playable demo at Independent Games Conference West on Nov. 5, 2009. I’m not sure of the veracity of this next part, but Wikipedia claims that Rocksmith is the direct commercial result of Guitar Rising.
We will track the case and keep you posted.