A lawsuit against Activision Blizzard was dismissed last month because, according to a judge in the Southern California District Court where the complaint was filed, the plaintiffs did not play enough Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to pursue an informed complaint against the maligned publisher. For the first time in Activision Blizzard's many legal battles, things ended smoothly.
According to a lawsuit filed by a law associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (who tipped Kotaku off), Activision Blizzard was sued in November 2021 by Brooks Entertainment, a California-based company that specializes in film and television production and other forms of entertainment. Both companies claim they have trademarks for the financial mobile games Save One Bank and Stock Picker.
Brooks Entertainment claims that Activision abused save one bank and stock picker's identity, as well as the company's CEO in Infinite Warfare. More specifically, the complaint alleges that the main character for the 2016 first-person shooter, Sean Brooks, was based on the company's CEO, and that all three games had scripted battle scenes set in a high-fashion couture shopping center mall.
If you have played only an hour or so of Infinite Warfare, you'll know it's all wrong. For one, the main character isn't Corporal Sean Brooks at all; rather his squadmate Commander Nick Reyes, a space marine who becomes the captain of the game's primary militia. Moreover, the battle takes place in far future Geneva, one of the many in-game locations, and Sean Brooks aint in it.
Activision's counsel wrote to Brooks Entertainment's attorney in January 2022, claiming that the complaint contained serious factual misrepresentations and errors, and that the allegations therein were both factually and legally frivolous. If the company did not withdraw the lawsuit, Activision would institute Rule 11 penalties, penalties that would require the plaintiff to pay a fine for failing to provide substantial or inaccurate evidence, or, for that matter, accurateevidentiary documentation.
Gaming!Uses exclusive ultra-fast wireless technology to ensure that your mouse performs as efficiently as you are, may be sued alongside special software for exceptional customization, and has 11 buttons to mess around with, a hyper-fast scroll wheel, and RGB lighting too.
The Southern California District Court granted Activision's motions on July 12, dismissed Brook Entertainments' complaint with prejudice (meaning the case cannot be refiled in that court), and ordered the plaintiffs' counsel to reimburse the troubled publisher for the money and time it wasted.
In its judgment in favor of Activision, the court ruled that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter game, not a first-and-third-person shooter game. Plaintiffs' counsel could have easily verified these statements prior to filing the factual basisless Complaint, just as the court could easily verify them within the first hour and a half of playing the game.
Kotaku emailed Activision Blizzard for a comment.
Richard Hoeg, a lawyer specialising in digital and video game law, told Kotaku that unprotectable concepts, such as persons' names, are fairly difficult to copyright and enforce.
According to Hoeg, the reason for the lawsuit being brought up was not that great in the first place. It may be pure hubris or it may have been counsel enforcing an indictment against a well-resourced party. On the subject, the suit itself alleges infringement on such unprotectable concepts as: Shon Brooks navigates through both exotic and action-packed locations.
Hoeg went on to state that it is difficult to get actual sanctions imposed on you because that would be a large scale of bad lawsuit filing.
Brooks Entertainment even included Rockstar Games for no reason (which did not help their cause with the judge), thus, the penalties here are Brooks Entertainment [has] to pay for Activisions legal fees and costs.
Activision's failed merger is still causing legal issues. The company was just sued by Diablo developers for union-busting. Again. Ugh.