Activision wins Humvee Call of Duty lawsuit

Activision wins Humvee Call of Duty lawsuit

US publishing giant Activision Blizzard has won a lawsuit brought against it by AM General over the use of Humvee cars in the Call of Duty franchise.

As reported by The Verge, the Southern District Court of New York has said that Activision isn't infringing copyright by featuring Humvee vehicles in its blockbuster shooter franchise. AM General sued the games firm back in 2017, in which the company said that Call of Duty users were under the impression that AM General had allowed Humvees to appear in games.

In its defence, Activision cite the First Amendment, saying that it had the right to show military equipment in its games in the name of realism.

Activision won because the Call of Duty titles passed both the "Rogers test" and the "Polaroid factors". The former refers to a 1980s ruling on how trademarked names can be used in art. In short, Activision could have made Call of Duty without Humvees but doing so adds realism to the games.

Meanwhile, the "Polaroid factors" decide whether the use of a trademark will confuse the public.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.