Lawyer pays Activision for not playing Call of Duty

This Marine sits in a chair and stares off-screen at someone in the middle of a conversation.

Uh, say what now?
picture: Infinity Ward

A lawsuit against Activision Blizzard was dismissed last month because the plaintiffs did not play enough, according to a judge in the Southern California District Court where the lawsuit was filed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to bring an informed case against the slandered publisher. Once in Activision Blizzard’s many contentious lawsuitsthings ended smoothly.

Corresponding a report by a trial attorney for the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (who tipped kotaku out) Activision Blizzard was sued in November 2021 by Brooks Entertainment, Inc., a California-based company specializing in motion picture and television production and other forms of entertainment. However, kotaku could not find an official website for the company. Brooks Entertainment and its CEO, Shon Brookswho calls himself the inventor, claim to own the trademarks for the financial mobile games Save a bank and stick picker It should be mentioned that kotaku also could not verify the existence of these games. Despite itall three of those companies, alongside Activision Blizzard and 2016 Infinite Warfarewere at the center of the litigation.

Brooks Entertainment in November 2021 allegedly Activision stole intellectual property from both of them Save a bank and stick pickeras well as the identity of its owner, in Infinite Warfare. More specifically, the complaint claimed that the “main character” of 2016’s first-person shooter, Sean Brooks, was based on the company’s CEO and that all three games had “scripted fight scenes that take place in a high-fashion couture mall.” It There were other similarities as well, but these allegations were at the heart of the complaint.

But if you’ve only played for an hour or so Infinite Warfare, you would know that this is all wrong. For one, the main character is not Corporal Sean Brooks at all, but rather his squadmate Commander Nick Reyes, a Space Marine who becomes the captain of the game’s main militia. Besides, while there is a scripted fight scene in a mall, it takes place in far-future Geneva, one of many locations in the game, and Sean Brooks isn’t there. You play as Reyes all the time.

In January 2022, Activision’s attorney wrote to Brooks Entertainment’s attorney that the complaint “contains[ed] material misrepresentations and errors of fact, and that the allegations made therein are both factually and legally frivolous.” If the company does not dismiss the lawsuit, Activision would file Rule 11 sanctions, penalties that oblige the plaintiff to pay a fine for making dubious or inadmissible arguments without substantive – or in this case accurate – evidence. And that’s exactly what happened in March 2022, when Activision filed its sanctions filings against Brooks Entertainment, saying the plaintiffs had not gambled Infinite Warfare and submitted inaccurate documentation.

Southern California District Court accepted Activision’s proposals dismissed Brook Entertainment’s lawsuit with prejudice on July 12 (meaning the lawsuit cannot be refiled in this court) and ordered plaintiff’s attorney to compensate the troubled publisher for the money and time that he wasted. In its conclusion, the court said the plaintiff failed to conduct a thorough and adequate investigation of the relevant facts about the game before filing the lawsuit.

“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter game, not first-person and third-person as claimed, and Sean Brooks does not perform a scripted fight scene in a high-fashion couture mall,” the court said in its decision in favor of Activision. “The plaintiff’s attorney could easily have verified these facts before filing the baseless lawsuit, just as the court easily verified them within the first hour and a half of the game.”

kotaku has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

Richard Hoeg, a lawyer specializing in digital and video game law, narrates kotaku that non-protectable concepts such as the names of people used in fictional entertainment are quite difficult to copyright and claim infringement.

“It’s hard to say why the lawsuit was filed,” Hoeg said. “Of course, if a suit gets kicked out *with sanctions*, it wasn’t a very good one to begin with. It could just be hubris, or it could have been an attorney encouraging a lawsuit against a well-resourced party. The suit itself says [Brooks Entertainment] Activision proposed a game between 2010 [and] 2015. All in all, the infringement lawsuit is terrible as it alleges violation of such indefensible concepts as: ‘Shon Brooks navigates exotic and action-packed locations and Sean Brooks navigates exotic and action-packed locations.’”

Hoeg said it was difficult to “get actual sanctions against you” because that would be a level of bad action well beyond a simple dismissal.

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

While things have turned out well for Activision this time, the maligned publisher is still a legal headache. The company was just blasted past Diablo Union Busting Developer. Again. Pooh. Lawyer pays Activision for not playing Call of Duty

Curtis Crabtree

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