District Judge George B. Daniels dismissed AM General's lawsuit for Activision's use of the vehicle manufacturer's humvees in Call of Duty games based on realism in portraying modern warfare.
] In the lawsuit filed in 2017, AM General alleged that Call of Duty players were "misled into believing that AM General licensed the games, or is in any way associated with or involved in the creation of the games." The vehicle manufacturer complained that Activision did not have a license to use images of the Humvees in Call of Duty games.
Daniels' judgment, which triggers AM General's lawsuit, takes several factors into account, including that based on the Rogers Test in a 1
Daniels also used the "Polaroid Test", which was based on a case from 1961, to determine whether the Humvees in Call of Duty games led to "explicit misleading" that would lead people to do the wrong thing to buy. The ruling states that those who want to buy a Humvee will not be confused and will instead buy a Call of Duty game and vice versa.
"If realism is an artistic goal, then the presence of vehicles used by actual employees in modern war games is undoubtedly the military promoting this goal," says Daniels. Even if there is some brand confusion, in this case with AM General's connection with Call of Duty, according to Ars Technica, this is not enough to override video game protection according to the first change.
Beyond Call of Duty
However, the decision on AM General's lawsuit against Activision can have more consequences than the Call of Duty series. According to GTPlanet, developers who develop racing games could use the judgment so that they do not have to purchase expensive trademark licenses.
Currently, studios and publishers have to negotiate with vehicle manufacturers, track owners and racing teams to present them in their games. Because video games are considered artistic works, GTPlanet said that license barriers to racing games could be a thing of the past.