Bloomberg Law
April 2, 2020, 12:02 AM

Activision Beats Humvee Trademark Claims Over ‘Call of Duty’

Kyle Jahner
Kyle Jahner
IP Reporter

Activision Blizzard Inc. didn’t infringe a military contractor’s Humvee trademark rights by infusing realistic depictions into its Call of Duty video game series, a federal court ruled.

AM General LLC failed to show that the video games and related promotional efforts explicitly mislead consumers into thinking it endorses them, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in awarding summary judgment on all claims.

The decision demonstrated that the First Amendment provides extra leeway to harness trademarks in expressive works, including video games. AM General would have had to show an active attempt to deceive rather ...