Guitar hero? Or Guitar Villain?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by 33db, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    Ubisoft Patents Basic Teaching Techniques
    Someone is playing patent troll...

    In 2012, Ubisoft launched an educational video game called Rocksmith. The idea was simple: why get good at playing a toy guitar, as in games like “Guitar Hero,” when you can use—and learn to play—the real thing? Their game helps beginner musicians identify the skills they need to work on, and then helps them improve those skills by providing gradually more complex songs and exercises.


    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/08/guitar-villain-ubisoft-patents-basic-teaching-techniques
     
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  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Definitely villain. Ubisoft never actually developed any guitar-teaching software, as far as I can see. All the corporation did was try to make money from any developer of such software, by claiming infringement of its intellectual property. Unfortunately for Ubisoft, you can't patent the scaldingly obvious, or something that can be shown to be pre-existing.

    Otherwise, there would be patents for things like "a device whereby turning a wheel releases hot or cold water into a sink." :sneaky:
     
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  3. Steven1145

    Steven1145 Strat-Talker Gold Supporting Member

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    I have played Rocksmith quite a bit, and it was fun.
    At the time there was another trolling issue: a pretty much unknown band called Rocksmith were suing Ubisoft for the use of a similar name. From what I recall at the time, they were asking for a load of $$, and insisting that Ubi use their songs also.
    I think they got clobbered by lawyers in the end.

    Not a Ubisoft fan in any way, but seeing how many daft band names there are out there I'm even surprised that other brands aren't being trolled more often.
     
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  4. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

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    It’s a bit more complicated than that. Some types of patents are only tested when the patent is enforced.

    John Keogh from Australia was issued the patent for a “circular transportation facilitation device”. This is completely unenforceable, but does give the man bragging rights as the inventor of the wheel.
     
  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Indeed. Just because you're granted a patent doesn't mean it will withstand legal challenge. :sneaky:

    I once had to write a long news story about a legal battle between a UK-based AV manufacturer, and an Australian hi-fi dealer who had patented a fairly obvious way of using an existing cable to carry extra control data. As an innovation it was almost non-existent, but working round the patent involved a lot of digital development work, so there were potentially millions of dollars at stake. The legal costs were massive.

    The court found in favour of the patent holder in that instance.

    As you can imagine, I was really careful about how I reported the case, and very relieved when both parties thank me for my fair and balanced account. (Phew!)

    A lot of big corporation have legal teams dedicated to making as much money as possible from what are often minor and unintended infringements on their intellectual property. I remember one case years ago where two manufacturers of audio tape duplicating systems got into a battle over seven different design features. I think only one was upheld, and the other six thrown out as having no merit.

    Unfortunately, I was more naive in those days, so when a press release came in claiming that Manufacturer A had a major court victory over Manufacturer B, I took it at face value and published it. Manufacturer B was not best pleased, as all they had to do was make minor design changes to one component! :oops::oops::oops: