Gaming is big business, and just like any big business, it has its fair share of courtroom proceedings. The latest big lawsuit is Konami Corp. vs. Viacom Inc.'s Harmonix studio; the former party claims Harmonix's Rock Band game violates patents.
According to Bloomberg, Konami issued patents in 2002 and 2003 that "relate to simulated musical instruments, a music-game system and a musical-rhythm matching game." They are now arguing that Rock Band goes against Konami's acquired patents, and they're demanding cash compensation, plus an order that would stop Viacom and Harmonix from utilizing those inventions in the future.
Now, Konami has revealed they plan to issue a competitor to the likes of Rock Band and Activision's Guitar Hero; it's Rock Revolution, which is scheduled to arrive later this year. But it seems they want one of those competitors to pay them for stealing what Konami claims was part of those patents. Viacom and Harmonix have yet to issue a response to the suit.
We really don't know what's going to come of this, but it could turn into a serious issue for the Rock Band makers. Then again, these things tend to drag on for a while...we might see Rock Band 3 and Rock Revolution 2 before everything is settled. Courts these days, you know?