California residents may play Call of Duty or have heard of the popular video game that features vehicles such as the Humvee. On Nov. 7, AM General filed suit against Activision Blizzard Inc. claiming that it used trademarks in the game without permission. AM General, which makes the Humvee, says that consumers may assume that the company is somehow connected with the game.
It is asking for compensatory and punitive damages from Activision as well as triple damages in the case that was filed in the U.S District Court in Manhattan. AM General claims that it spent a year trying to resolve the matter out of court with no success. According to Activision, the Call of Duty franchise was the world’s largest in 2016 and has been the largest in North America for eight years in a row as of that same year. The company claims that the game generated $15 billion in revenue in 2016.
The trust and goodwill that a brand may cultivate with its customers may be its biggest competitive advantage. For some companies, its intellectual property may be its biggest and most valuable asset. Therefore, it may be in a business owner’s best interest to take steps to protect both its reputation and its ability to generate revenue.
Talking with an attorney may be the first step in resolving trademark or other disputes regarding intellectual property rights. It may be possible for an attorney to assist in efforts to resolve a matter outside of court. However, if necessary, legal counsel may be able to help resolve a matter in front of a judge. If successful, a trademark holder may be entitled to compensation or other relief to compensate for the impact that the infringement may have caused.