AM General, the manufacturer of the Humvee military vehicle, is taking Activision to court.
Reuters reports that AM has accused the publisher of “taking advantage of its goodwill and reputation” by featuring the iconic armoured truck both in its Call of Duty game series and associated licensed books and toys.
AM argues that part of Call of Duty’s colossal global success comes “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”.
The company now seeks “compensatory, punitive and triple damages from Activision”, after a year’s worth of talks failed to iron out the disagreement.
The lawsuit adds: “Defendants have used and continue to use AM General’s trademarks and trade dress in advertising and promotion of their Call of Duty video game franchise; have featured and continue to feature AM General’s trademarks and vehicles bearing the distinctive elements of the AM General Trade Dress prominently in their video games; and have caused and continue to cause the manufacture and sale of collateral toys and books to further derive wrongful profits from AM General’s intellectual property and to further promote Defendants’ infringing video games.
“Defendants’ video games have been successful but 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. Defendants have reaped billions of dollars in revenues from their wrongful acts and, in the process, have irreparably harmed AM General by causing significant confusion, expressly misleading the consuming public, and diluting the goodwill and reputation of AM General’s famous marks.”
Humvee is a riff on ‘HMMWV’, which actually stands for ‘High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles’. The same company also produces the consumer Humvee.