Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: NovaLogic sues Activision over use of 'Delta Force' [Joystiq]

  1. #1
    ServBot (Level 11) DP ServBot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    3,492
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Lightbulb NovaLogic sues Activision over use of 'Delta Force' [Joystiq]

    NovaLogic, the developer behind 1998's PC FPS Delta Force and its subsequent sequels, has filed suit against Activision over the inclusion of its own "Delta Force" in Modern Warfare 3. As you can see in the tastefully photoshopped comparison image above, Acti's Delta Force logo (right) bears a striking resemblance to NovaLogic's - additionally, NovaLogic owns a trademark on the words "DELTA FORCE."

    "Despite Activision's irrefutable knowledge of NovaLogic's superior trademark rights," reads the complain, "Activision created knockoff marks that are nearly identical [to] NovaLogic's design and word marks. Activision then shamelessly inserted these infringing marks throughout its competing first person military adventure video games." The complaint also makes reference to the various Modern Warfare 3-branded headsets, Xboxen and strategy guides in production that feature Activision's Delta Force logo.

    Both NovaLogic and Activision's fictional Delta Force teams are based on the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, a counter-terrorism branch of the United States military. NovaLogic claims that Activision's inclusion of a Delta Force in MW3 has caused NovaLogic to lose millions, and that if "infringing practices are not discontinued quickly, it is likely that the damage to NovaLogic will grow exponentially, causing more confusion in the market place, and to the reputation for quality that NovaLogic has worked so hard to establish." The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and also calls for an injunction to protect against further trademark infringement.NovaLogic sues Activision over use of 'Delta Force' originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 17 May 2012 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink | Email this | Comments
    I am not a real person. I am the Digital Press ServBot, in active duty, assigned to fetching various RSS feeds and posting them here. If you can suggest a better feed source please PM a moderator or admin.

  2. #2
    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,548
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I hope that Nova Logic wins.

  3. #3
    DP's favorite trollbait Custom rank graphic
    Kitsune Sniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Calexico, USA
    Posts
    13,853
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    FoxhackDN
    Steam
    Foxhack

    Default

    Novalogic is going to own their asses. No contest.

    Though, I thought Delta Force was owned by a movie studio. Maybe the trademark extends to games only, I dunno.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I can't tell if we're discussing My Little Pony or Neon Genesis Evangelion anymore.
    eBay Auctions / GameTZ profile / DP Feedback / Youtube / Twitter / RateYourMusic

  4. #4
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Sniper View Post
    Novalogic is going to own their asses. No contest.

    Though, I thought Delta Force was owned by a movie studio. Maybe the trademark extends to games only, I dunno.
    It's pretty hard to enforce a trademark to the name of a government entity regardless of whether or not the Patent and Trademark Office has awarded you the trademark. Lots of companies have tried, but I'm not aware of too many that have succeeded. They may be able to make an argument about consumer confusion and misappropriation of the graphic, but I doubt any court is going to allow them to prevent another gaming company from using a unit of the US military in another game as long as the game itself isn't called "Delta Force".

  5. #5
    ServBot (Level 11) badinsults's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Somewhere on planet Earth / #vbender
    Posts
    3,986
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Delta Force was a Chuck Norris movie.

    Do you really want to bring this up and mess with Chuck Norris?
    <Evan_G> i keep my games in an inaccessable crate where i can't play them

  6. #6
    Bell (Level 8)
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Winooski, VT
    Posts
    1,770
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Xbox LIVE
    captaindoom666
    Steam
    captaindoom666

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by badinsults View Post
    Delta Force was a Chuck Norris movie.

    Do you really want to bring this up and mess with Chuck Norris?
    chuck norris will create a all powerful round house which will knock both companies out... and then take both of their money. Game set.. chuck norris wins.

  7. #7
    Banana (Level 7) Zing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,491
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    So, Activision will release a patch that changes the logo and possibly the name. What does Novalogic stand to gain from this? Wouldn't they be better off somehow negotiating a tie-in with Activision or just relishing in the free advertising? I mean, just create a press release mentioning your old game and where to buy it and show how cool it is to be in a modern game. "Find out what the original Delta Force is like at goodoldgames.com" or something. Did Novalogic even try, or is this just trolling?

    I just reread the claim. "Lose millions"? How in the hell would peripheral advertising possibly lose them money? It's not like people are saying "I already have a Delta Force in my Call of Duty, so I guess I won't buy the older game."
    Last edited by Zing; 05-19-2012 at 01:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Cherry (Level 1) Sysop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    207
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I didn't know that NovaLogic were still making new video games. Are we to expect a new Delta Force game any time soon?

  9. #9
    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,548
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zing View Post
    So, Activision will release a patch that changes the logo and possibly the name. What does Novalogic stand to gain from this? Wouldn't they be better off somehow negotiating a tie-in with Activision or just relishing in the free advertising? I mean, just create a press release mentioning your old game and where to buy it and show how cool it is to be in a modern game. "Find out what the original Delta Force is like at goodoldgames.com" or something. Did Novalogic even try, or is this just trolling?
    I just find it infuriating that Activision feels that it can take whatever property they want and do whatever they want regardless of the fact that someone else owns the rights. They couldn't possibly claim that they weren't aware of the previous games. They can't be that oblivious. I hope that the courts smack them down hard.

    I know that two wrongs don't make a right but I also find it amusing that Activision feels that they can come along and simply take whatever they want from other developers regardless of copyright yet at the same time they'd have a shit fit if I were to download a torrernt copy of Diablo III.

  10. #10
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    I'm sorry, but what "property" are you speaking of? The Delta Force is a unit of the United States Army. Novalogic has no more rights to exclusively use it than any of the dozens of television shows and movies over the years that feature various units of the US Army. The government doesn't license anyone to use or prevent anyone from using the names of government agencies or military units. Even the "Delta Force" trademark is on very shaky ground because it's the name of a military unit, not some novel fictitious name that they created. The only issue from my perspective is whether the graphic artist who did Activision's logo ripped off the logo created by Novalogic. If that happened, it seems that they may be entitled to financial compensation and Activision should be forced to remove the logo from any new products. Of course, I have personally seen plenty of situations where a graphic designer is the one to blame for appropriating the logo and unfortunately, it can be very difficult to determine that the logo was copied until a claim comes in because the USPTO database only has limited graphical information listed. I just can't get too outraged over this situation as I think Novalogic is on extremely shaky ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griking View Post
    I just find it infuriating that Activision feels that it can take whatever property they want and do whatever they want regardless of the fact that someone else owns the rights. They couldn't possibly claim that they weren't aware of the previous games. They can't be that oblivious. I hope that the courts smack them down hard.

    I know that two wrongs don't make a right but I also find it amusing that Activision feels that they can come along and simply take whatever they want from other developers regardless of copyright yet at the same time they'd have a shit fit if I were to download a torrernt copy of Diablo III.

  11. #11
    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    5,878
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Unless I'm mistaken, the government says otherwise and NovaLogic holds trademarks for the name and logo.

    Plus, I believe Delta Force is merely a nickname the public uses rather than an official name (or even a nickname that members of the unit use to refer to themselves).

    I think Activision will settle or lose if they go forward.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 05-20-2012 at 09:42 PM.

  12. #12
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Lots of companies hold trademarks to the names of government agencies. Indeed, many government agencies also hold trademarks to their own names. The question becomes whether they can convince a court to enforce them or not. I know I have seen this issue from time to time with police agencies like NYPD in television shows and I have yet to see a court really enforce the trademark. In fact, NYPD which owns their own trademark basically backs down whenever a television production entity goes and tells them to pound sand. Activision didn't release a game called "Delta Force", all they did is include a Delta Force unit in part of the game and purportedly copied the logo used by Novalogic in their games. The former part is a very shaky case at best. You can't secure a trademark and somehow garner an exclusive to create interactive media about a real life military unit. If that was the case, all anyone would have to do is trademark the name of each military division or unit and constantly sue any film, television or video game company that included the unit in their products. The only thing Novalogic may be able to argue here is that the logo was copied and the use of the name is causing customer confusion. If the logo itself is based on the actual Delta Force logo, it's going to be a very difficult argument. Similarly, the fact that the game itself isn't named "Delta Force" is going to make that argument very hard to make as Activision will simply provide testimony and evidence that nobody is confused inasmuch as nobody purchased Activision's game thinking they were getting the Novalogic product.


    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, the government says otherwise and NovaLogic holds trademarks for the name and logo.

    Plus, I believe Delta Force is merely a nickname the public uses rather than an official name (or even a nickname that members of the unit use to refer to themselves).

    I think Activision will settle or lose if they go forward.
    Last edited by Bojay1997; 05-21-2012 at 02:06 AM.

  13. #13
    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    5,878
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Again, Delta Force isn't the name of the unit nor do members of it even use that name informally. Furthermore, it appears that the crux of the complaint deals with a logo that absolutely has no relation to the unit itself or the name Delta Force.

    And if I'm not mistaken, context also plays a role in things like trademark disputes. The fact that we're dealing specifically with videogames here and not two vastly different things I think is going to be of some assistance to them.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 05-21-2012 at 02:11 AM.

  14. #14
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    Again, Delta Force isn't the name of the unit nor do members of it even use that name informally.
    In my opinion, it doesn't matter. The public has a long history of referring to the unit by that name. Novalogic didn't create the term "Delta Force", nor does their trademark give them an exclusive to use that phrase in reference to the real life unit. Unless they can show that Activision is calling their own game "Delta Force" or directly copied their logo (as opposed to copying a real life unit logo from the Delta Force), I can't see how this case goes anywhere. Activision will likely pay a nuisance settlement and this will all go away.

  15. #15
    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    5,878
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    They certainly didn't copy the real life patch of the unit.



    There's little doubt that NovaLogic's trademarked fictional logo was the inspiration for their logo.

    And right or wrong, they hold a trademark. I'm unaware of it being routine in such cases to question the very valdity of a trademark that they've applied for and recieved. The only question I suspect they're going to be asking here is if this is a violation of this trademark, not if NovaLogic should've ever been granted it in the first place.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 05-21-2012 at 02:23 AM.

  16. #16
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    They certainly didn't copy the real life patch of the unit.

    Correct, but I was only leaving open the possibility that there are other sub-unit logos as is often the case in the military which might have formed the basis of the Delta Force logo used by both companies. If that's not the case, obviously Novalogic's claim becomes much stronger on that issue. I just don't see how they get anything on claims that Activision can't call a unit "Delta Force" in the game, especially since the unit name appears nowhere in the title or advertising for Activision's game.

  17. #17
    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    5,878
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Like I edited into my earlier reply while you were replying, it appears as if the issue here is the logo itself and not the name.

    Despite Activision's irrefutable knowledge of NovaLogic's superior trademark rights," reads the complain, "Activision created knockoff marks that are nearly identical [to] NovaLogic's design and word marks. Activision then shamelessly inserted these infringing marks throughout its competing first person military adventure video games." The complaint also makes reference to the various Modern Warfare 3-branded headsets, Xboxen and strategy guides in production that feature Activision's Delta Force logo.

    And if I'm not mistaken, they don't even have a SSI patch in real life. The unit is so secretive that they eschew such things to help blend in. What I posted was the U.S. Army Special Operations Command airborne insignia, the command that "Delta Force" falls under direct control of.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 05-21-2012 at 02:35 AM.

  18. #18
    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,548
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    never mind, it's already been said.

  19. #19
    Great Puma (Level 12)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,277
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Default

    I haven't seen the complaint, but I have read several articles about it and it looks to me like they are making not just a logo claim, but a word mark claim as well based on their contention that the public's knowledge of Delta Force stems primarily from their games. You're right though, if it's just a logo infringement claim, their case will be much stronger, especially if it turns out there is no real military logo of that design and if the graphic designer can't provide a basis for how he created Activision's logo. I didn't realize Activision has been selling or licensing peripherals with that logo which could increase their exposure significantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    Like I edited into my earlier reply while you were replying, it appears as if the issue here is the logo itself and not the name.

    Despite Activision's irrefutable knowledge of NovaLogic's superior trademark rights," reads the complain, "Activision created knockoff marks that are nearly identical [to] NovaLogic's design and word marks. Activision then shamelessly inserted these infringing marks throughout its competing first person military adventure video games." The complaint also makes reference to the various Modern Warfare 3-branded headsets, Xboxen and strategy guides in production that feature Activision's Delta Force logo.

    And if I'm not mistaken, they don't even have a SSI patch in real life. The unit is so secretive that they eschew such things to help blend in. What I posted was the U.S. Army Special Operations Command airborne insignia, the command that "Delta Force" falls under direct control of.

  20. #20
    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,548
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I don't see how it matters or not if the game is based on an actual military entity or not. If Nova Logic holds a trademark for the word Delta Force and Activision violated that trademark then case closed IMO.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-09-2013, 02:21 AM
  2. Triple Town developer sues over iOS knock-off [Joystiq]
    By DP ServBot in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-29-2012, 08:30 PM
  3. Air Force Delta, DC, not comptbl w/ 4X memory card?
    By Gamereviewgod in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-21-2004, 06:52 PM
  4. Looking for Air Force Delta XBOX new and cheap?
    By Bojay1997 in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-27-2003, 10:59 PM
  5. Air Force Delta Storm - sell or keep!
    By FlashStash in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-16-2003, 06:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •