The people behind Humvee are suing Activision over the appearance of the famous military vehicle in Call of Duty.
AM General LLC said Activision incorporated its Humvee trademark without permission in the Call of Duty games, toys and strategy guides, Reuters reports.
In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan, AM General accused Activision of “taking advantage of its goodwill and reputation”.
AM General added Call of Duty’s phenomenal success came “only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games”, which is one hell of a stretch.
Here’s another stretch: AM General said Call of Duty’s use of the Humvee “is a key selling feature of the games”. Yeah, don’t know about that.
However, it is clear Call of Duty has featured Humvees pretty heavily over the years. The Humvee is in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Call of Duty: Heroes and of course Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
The video below shows a Humvee turret section in Modern Warfare 2.
AM General has done its homework, too, and pointed to a few examples of where a Humvee appears in a Call of Duty game. Here’s an excerpt:
“In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, multiple in-game missions and multiplayer levels include depictions of vehicles bearing the (or substantially similar) distinctive design elements of the AM General Trade Dress (“Infringing Vehicles”).
“In some instances, the game player is able to (and even required to in order to progress in the game) climb onto the Infringing Vehicles and climb into (viewing the interior) and ride in the Infringing Vehicles while controlling and firing a weapon on the vehicle.
“In others, the player is tasked with manning a weapon from a helicopter to protect Infringing Vehicles that are seen driving on the ground below. At various points in the game, the Infringing Vehicles are explicitly and misleadingly identified using AM General’s marks as, E.g. ,’HUMVEE 01 M1026 HMMWV.’
“In other instances, the characters explicitly and misleadingly refer to the Infringing Vehicles as the ‘Humvee,’ including dialog that states ‘We’re leaving on Hunter Three’s Humvee, over.'”
AM General wants compensatory, punitive and triple damages from Activision. Apparently the two parties have been discussing the issue for over a year but the talks ended in failure.
Activision declined to comment. One to watch!