The owner of the video game series Call of Duty has illegally used trademarks for Humvee military vehicles, and “reaped billions of dollars in revenues” in doing so, a lawsuit filed by a Humvee maker on Tuesday alleges.
Humvee Maker AM General says in the lengthy complaint that Activision Blizzard, which owns the video game series, improperly features “Humvee” and “HMMWV” trademarks in Call of Duty, and has licensed related content with the marks for use in toys and books.
Call of Duty launched in 2003, and as of last year, it was the “world’s largest game console franchise,” reports Reuters. Sales of the series have topped 250 million units, the news outlet reports, and revenue derived from it exceeds $15 billion.
According to AM General, that’s revenue generated as a result of its trademarks.
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Reuters has more on the case’s background:
... AM General said that 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.”
AM General is owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Inc. and Renco Group Inc., which are holding companies for billionaires Ronald Perelman and Ira Rennert, respectively.
A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard says the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Both parties discussed the issue privately for a year, but that didn’t resolve the spat. So, now, they’re in court. AM General said in the complaint that it’s seeking compensatory, punitive and triple damages from Activision, according to Reuters.