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US court dismisses Humvee trademark infringement suit against Activision

New York judge rules that use of Humvees in Call of Duty is protected as artistic expression

A lawsuit filed by AM General against Activision Blizzard alleging trademark infringement for its use of Humvees in Call of Duty games has been dismissed.

The case was originally brought back in 2017, with AM General claiming Activision had infringed on its trademark for Humvee military vehicles by using them in multiple Call of Duty titles without permission, effectively deceiving its audience into thinking AM General was somehow connected with the games.

However, Activision yesterday won a motion for a summary judgment dismissing all charges on the grounds that its use of Humvees in Call of Duty has artistic relevance and thus is protected under the first amendment.

The final judgment notes that the use of Humvees is intended to give the impression of realism, and is not explicitly misleading given that AM General's goal is to sell Humvees to militaries, while Activision's is to make a realistic war video game, and the two do not currently and are unlikely to ever compete with one another.

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