Guitar Hero Suit TAC Responds To RedOctane With Counter-Claim

Video Game Law Blog

September 26, 2006

Following the filing of a lawsuit by Guitar Hero publisher and recent Activision acquisition RedOctane against The Ant Commandos (TAC), over third-party Guitar Hero controllers, TAC has filed a counter-claim, against both Activision and RedOctane, alleging that both companies are violating Federal Antitrust legislation pertaining to the Guitar Hero game and controller bundle. In addition, the counter claim goes on to allege the controller was originally created by Topway Electrical Appliance Co., which partly owns TAC, and that both Activision and RedOctane 'copied the identifiable trade dress of the controller"? (including its color, shape, and placement of fret buttons located on the controller).

In addition, TAC has filed for a preliminary injunction asking the federal court to enjoin Activision and RedOctane from further infringing on the trade dress originally developed by Topway. The injunction also asks the court to allow for fair competition in the market by enjoining the sale of the game/controller 'bundle"? so that consumers no longer have to purchase both Guitar Hero and the RedOctane controller, but rather may purchase the game and have their choice on which controller to buy. To date, no injunction against TAC has been filed in this matter.

RedOctane's original claim alleges, inter alia, unfair competition, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices, false advertising and unjust enrichment on the part of TAC.
For coverage, click here