Activision licensed the Gibson trademark and trade dress in November 2006 in connection with Guitar Hero’s "custom guitar controller peripheral." Activision paid a one-time fixed license fee to cover the term of the license and Gibson agreed to help promote the Guitar Hero product.
The law governing U.S. software patents sometimes shifts like the ground here in California – a point illustrated by the recent decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Ltd. v. International Game Technology, 521 F.3d 1328, 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008).