Activision is once again in a legal tangle over matters concerning its billion-dollar shooter, Call of Duty. This latest courtroom soiree revolves around the publisher’s use of the word “Warzone” in the title of its uber-successful battle royale release Call of Duty: Warzone.
The problem began back in June 2020, when Activision filed trademarks with the U.S. patent office for “Warzone” and “Call of Duty: Warzone” as applied to its free-to-play shooter. As reported by PC Gamer, Warzone – a tabletop-style strategy title that has been using the name since 2017 – has continuously blocked these trademarks. Warzone‘s holding company, Warzone.com, proposes that allowing Activision to secure the word “Warzone” will hinder the former’s efforts to effectively market its wares.
Activision has denied Warzone.com’s claim that the trademark would cause “consumer confusion,” calling the potential mix-up “inconceivable.” Activision notes that both Warzone and Call of Duty: Warzone are entirely different games in entirely different genres. Activision also states that the word “Warzone” is featured in the titles of at least 15 other mobile games, asking why Warzone.com has not taken the same fight up with any of these other, similarly named releases.
Activision was supposed to complete its trademark process in December of 2020 but has received numerous extensions in order to tackle this dispute. Last week, Activision filed a new suit in efforts to bring the situation to a close, requesting that the U.S. patent office be allowed to complete Activision’s trademark applications, while demanding Warzone.com recoup Activision’s “reasonable” legal costs.