10 November 2017Trademarks

‘Call of Duty’ called out over Humvee use in games

The makers behind the “Call of Duty” video game franchise have been called out over the use of Humvee (high mobility multi-purpose wheeled) vehicles.

AM General, which makes the Humvee, claimed (pdf) that games company Activision Blizzard has been using the ‘Humvee’ trademark and vehicles “prominently” in the “Call of Duty” games.

The manufacturer said it has produced more than 278,000 Humvee-branded vehicles, and the vehicles have been in service for more than 30 years with the US Armed Forces and over 50 foreign countries.

US registration number 1,697,530, owned by AM General, covers the ‘Humvee’ mark for trucks, while US number 2,305,256 covers the ‘Humvee' mark for toys.

AM General also owns the ‘HMMWV’ mark, an abbreviation of high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles, and the trade dress of the vehicles.

Since the 1990s, AM General has licensed others to use the mark and trade dress, it said.

“AM General granted a licence to Novalogic to use the ‘Humvee’ mark in connection with the video game ‘Delta Force - Black Hawk Down’.”

Eight “Call of Duty” games were listed as infringing by the manufacturer, including “Call of Duty: Heroes” and “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare”.

“Defendants have reaped billions of dollars in revenues from their wrongful acts and, in the process, have irreparably harmed AM General by causing significant confusion, expressly misleading the consuming public, and diluting the goodwill and reputation of AM General’s famous marks,” said the claim.

AM General also alleged that the use of its IP in the franchise is “pervasive, plays a significant role in the gameplay of the infringing products, and is a key selling feature of the games”.

According to the complaint, Activision Blizzard has sold toys and books that “further derive wrongful profits from AM General’s IP”, including a “Light Armour Firebase” toy which includes a vehicle bearing the “distinctive elements” of the AM General trade dress.

AM General is seeking a permanent injunction, jury trial, punitive damages, and triple damages.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

27 November 2017   The owner of the “Call of Duty” video game franchise, Activision, has been granted more time to oppose a trademark filed by a dog waste removal company.