A judge in New York has ruled that the use of Hummer by publisher Activision in the Call of Duty series does not constitute a trademark infringement,media reported. In 2017, Hummer maker AM General sued Momentum, saying players in their game Call of Duty had been tricked into believing THAT AM General had licensed the game to use their product trademarks.
Activision Blizzard denied the claim, saying it had a first-amendment right to depict official military equipment in war games. “In any case, it is dangerous to use a trademark to control creative work,” the company’s lawyers wrote. The charges in this case are particularly alarming because they relate to a U.S. military vehicle paid for by U.S. taxpayers and deployed in every major military conflict over the past 30 years. “
District Court Judge George Daniels wrote in his ruling that Activision Blizzard’s game passed the “Rogers test”, referring to a 1980s ruling on the use of trademark names in works of art. “From a metto-school perspective, it’s possible to make video games without Hummers, ” says Daniels. “It’s just that the Hummer brand’s addition adds to the game’s realism and plays a role outside of the Hummer brand.” “If realism is an artistic goal, then the actual military vehicles that appear in modern war games are undoubtedly driving that goal. “
In addition, Call of Duty’s use of Hummer’s trademark did not confuse consumers, as AM General’s trademark use was used to sell cars to the military, while Activision Blizzard was designed to persuade consumers to buy realistic modern war simulation video games.