Activision Sues Ant Commandos and Former Guitar Hero Executives
In a new Guitar Hero related dispute, Activision (Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane’s parent company), has filed a fresh lawsuit against guitar peripheral maker The Ant Commando (TAC), Red Octane’s PR firm Reverb Communications and three former Red Octane executives/employees: former executive producer John Tam, brand manager [name removed on request] and hardware group member Jamie Yang. The former executives founded a new company with TAC – Loadstone Entertainment.
The complaint alleges:
“copyright infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, and more. “
GameSpot is reporting that Activision has already obtained a temporary restraining order against the defendants restraining them from:
- distributing a demo created by TAM incorporating elements of Guitar Hero II;
- using or disclosing any Activision trade secrets, including: music licensing contract terms, in-game advertising, sales figures, marketing plans, product designs, and possible future songs and artists to be featured;
- developing a guitar controller for the XBox 360 version of Guitar Hero II for three months after release;
- soliciting Activision employees, partners or Asia-based manufacturing partners; and
- taking any steps to develop, market, manufacture, sell, or distribute any guitar or drum based video games.
As recently as December 27, 2006, Activision and Red Octane had settled a different dispute with TAC concerning the sale of unlicensed guitar peripherals. See here for details.