In one of the more surprising developments of this year, automotive vehicle manufacturer and contractor AM General has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard Inc. for – of all things – using the company’s trademark HMMWV vehicle without permission in the studio’s Call of Duty franchise.
AM General disputed that the copyright surrounding HMMWV or “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles” has been infringed upon in a lawsuit submitted this past Tuesday. The vehicle, which has been featured in numerous Call of Duty titles over the course of the franchise’s history, is a product primarily manufactured by AM General. According to the original article on Automotive News, the company has produced more than 278,000 HMMWV vehicles.
In an official statement, AM General claimed that the success of the Call of Duty series has come “only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the game or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games.” The holding companies for AM General, meanwhile, have demanded “compensatory, punitive, and triple damages from Activision” after over a year of unsuccessful communications between the two.
Interestingly enough, this lawsuit comes mere days after the release of Call of Duty: WWII, a title that, as you can expect from the name, takes place during World War II and obviously does not feature the HMMWV vehicle.
Call of Duty: WWII has been considered a notable success for the franchise in achieving more than double the sales of the previous installment, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, in just three days. The Call of Duty series as a whole, meanwhile, was the world’s largest console franchise in 2016 in selling over 250 million units and generating more than $15 billion in revenue for Activision.