Lawyer to pay Activision for not playing Call Of Duty, Judge Decrees

This marine is sitting in a chair staring off the screen at someone in the middle of a conversation.
This marine is sitting in a chair staring off the screen at someone in the middle of a conversation.

Uh, say what now?

A lawsuit against Activision Blizzard was dropped last month because, according to a judge at the Southern California District Court where the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs did not play enough. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to make an informed case against the vilified publisher. For once, in Activision Blizzard’s many controversial legal battles, things went smoothly.

According to a report by a litigation associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm (who tipped Kotaku off), Activision Blizzard was sued in November 2021 by Brooks Entertainment, Inc., a California-based company specializing in film and television productions and other forms of entertainment. However, Kotaku an official website for the company could not be found. Brooks Entertainment and its CEO, Shon Brooks, who describes himself as an inventor, claim to own the trademarks for mobile financial games Save a bank And Action selector. It should be noted that Kotaku it was not even possible to verify the existence of these games. IndependentlyaAll three of these entities, along with Activision Blizzard and 2016 Endless warthey were at the center of the cause.

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In November 2021, Brooks Entertainment claimed that Activision stole the intellectual property of both Save a bank And Action selectoras well as the identity of its owner, in Endless war. To be more specific, the complaint stated that the “main character” of the 2016 first-person shooter, Sean Brooks, was based on the company’s CEO and that all three games had “scripted battle scenes that take place in a high fashion shopping mall. shopping mall. ” There were other similarities as well, but these claims were the crux of the complaint.

But if you’ve only played an hour or so Endless war, you would know it’s all wrong. For example, the main character is not Corporal Sean Brooks at all, but rather his teammate, Commander Nick Reyes, a space marine who becomes the captain of the game’s main militia. Also, while there’s a scripted battle scene in a shopping mall, it takes place in distant future Geneva, one of the game’s many locations, and Sean Brooks isn’t there. You play like Reyes all the time.

In January 2022, Activision’s attorney wrote to Brooks Entertainment’s attorney that the complaint “contains[ed] serious misrepresentations and errors of fact, and that the statements contained therein are both factual and legally frivolous “. Had the company not dropped the case, Activision would have filed Rule 11 penalties, which require the plaintiff to pay a fine for presenting dubious or improper arguments without substantial or, moreover, accurate evidence. And that’s exactly what happened in March 2022, when Activision filed its sanction motions against Brooks Entertainment, saying the plaintiffs didn’t play. Endless war and provided inaccurate archives.

The Southern California District Court accepted Activision’s motions on July 12, dismissed Brook Entertainment’s lawsuit with prejudice (meaning the request cannot be filed again in that court), and ordered the plaintiff’s attorney. to compensate the distressed publisher for wasted time and money. In its conclusion, the court said the plaintiff did not conduct a thorough and reasonable investigation into the relevant facts about the game before filing the lawsuit.

“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first person shooter, not first and third person as alleged, and Sean Brooks is not conducting a scripted battle scene in a high fashion mall, “the court said in its ruling in favor of Activision.” The plaintiff’s attorney could easily have verified these facts before filing the factually groundless complaint, just as the court easily verified them within the first hour and a half of the game. ”

Kotaku reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

Said Richard Hoeg, a lawyer specializing in video games and digital law Kotaku that unprotected concepts such as people’s names used in fictional entertainment are quite difficult to copyright and claim for infringement.

“It’s hard to say why the lawsuit was raised,” Hoeg said. “Of course if a lawsuit is expelled * with penalties * it wasn’t very good in the first place. It could be simply arrogance or it could have been advice that encouraged a lawsuit against an adequately resourced party. The suit itself says [Brooks Entertainment] launched a game at Activision between 2010 [and] 2015. That said, the infringement lawsuit is horrific, as it claims the violation of unprotected concepts such as: “Shon Brooks navigates exotic, action-packed places and Sean Brooks navigates both exotic and action-packed places. ‘”

Hoeg went on to say that it is difficult to get “effective penalties imposed on you” because that would be a level of bad reporting well above a simple dismissal.

“The court basically finds the whole argument insane,” Hoeg concluded. “Brooks Entertainment also included Rockstar Games for no reason (which didn’t help their case with the judge). So, the penalties here are Brooks Entertainment [has] pay Activision’s attorney’s fees and attorney’s fees ”.

While things may have gone well for Activision this time around, the vilified publisher is still causing legal headaches. The company has just been blown up Diablo developers for the breakup of trade unions. Yet. Ugh.

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