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Call of Duty Franchise Sued by the Humvee Maker for Trademark Issues

The "Call of Duty" series is the most successful video game franchise on both PC and gaming consoles, earning its publisher, Activision Blizzard, billions and billions of dollars.
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AM General, the company behind the light military vehicle known as the Humvee, thinks some of that cash was made on the back of its product, and is now suing Activision Blizzard over trademark breaches. It says the publisher never asked permission to use the iconic JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) which featured prominently in its Modern Warfare series.

The company is fresh off launching the latest CoD title which marks a return to the World War II era, the same conflict that spawned the series in the first place. That means it might be safe from further lawsuits considering the chances of Henschel & Son asking for permission to use the Tiger tank are slim. Just to be clear, we haven't played the game, but if it's a WWII title a Tiger is bound to show up at some time.

Back to the Humvee situation, the New York Times says that AM General LLC accused Activision of "taking advantage of its goodwill" by making the Humvee an important part of the game and even featuring it in auxiliary merchandise such as toys or books.

The Humvee maker claims that Call of Duty's fame and subsequent revenues 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."

That sounds a bit exaggerated, to be honest, but it's up to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York to decide whether the plaintiff's claims are entitled. AM General is looking for compensatory, punitive and triple damages from Activision, though an exact sum has not been named yet.

It's worth noting AM General has lost the contract with the U.S. Army for building the Humvee successor, thus skipping on nearly $30 billion. With the civilian Hummer H1 also out of action, AM General sold that section of its plant to a Chinese investor who, in a somewhat ironic twist of fate, is looking to use it for building electric vehicles.

 
 
 
 
 

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