If you remember the Hummer jeep, well known at the peak career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The jeep was used in the Army, and it was called the Humvee. Hummer was only made for Arnold because of his demand, and it was the first legal road version of an Army jeep.
Call of Duty using Humvees?
Well, the car is quite popular and everyone in Army movies or games certainly appreciates it. Similarly, Activision used Humvee’s in Call of Duty games. This was not appreciated by AM General, and they filed a lawsuit against them in 2017. The company said that Call of Duty players “believe that AM General Licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of games”.
Certainly, their statement looks promising because Activision along with other games have arranged licenses for all sorts of Military items used. In this case, Activision sort of forgot that AM would be concerned about their product.
AM concerns not good enough?
The ruling published by District Judge George B.Daniels falsified AM General’s claim. In a report by Technica, “That decision hinged in part on a 1989 precedent that established that artistic works could make reference to outside trademarks as long as the usage was relevant to the work and did not “explicitly mislead as to the source of the content or work.”
The judge however compared the situation to the eight-prong “Polaroid” test. It further supported the idea that Humvee’s are allowed to be used, because of the presidential 1961 case. Furthermore, the same judge remarked the infamous Louis Vuitton Bag incident from the movie The Hangover 2.
In the ruling, he explained, “moviegoers are sophisticated enough to know that the mere presence of a brand name in a film, especially one that is briefly and intermittently shown, does not indicate the brand sponsored the movie.” Judge Daniels added that “there is no reason to believe that video game players are any less astute” than those movie viewers.
Lastly, the hearing was sort of finished when he said: “if realism is an artistic goal, then the presence in Modern Warfare games of vehicles employed by actual militaries undoubtedly furthers that goal.”
The video games are protected by the First Amendment, which has been the backbone since the 2011 Supreme Court ruling. Lastly, AM was disappointed, but in my opinion, they failed to discuss any harm done by Activision from their use.
The whole purpose of their lawsuit was that COD Players are miss-informed about Activision and AM are in some sort of agreement. This was not enough to support their case against another mighty company like Activision.