Developer NovaLogic suing Activision for use of 'Delta Force' trademark

NovaLogic, developer of the first-person shooter series Delta Force, is suing Activision for the use of its core franchise's name in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

NovaLogic, developer of the first-person shooter series Delta Force, is suing Activision for the use of its core franchise's name in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

NovaLogic currently holds a trademark on "Delta Force," which it's possessed since 1998. Since then, the developer has released nine games under the moniker, with a tenth (Delta Force: Angel Falls) purportedly still in development. Despite their possession of the trademark, Activision and Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 3 includes a number of missions in which players control elite operatives of a unit called Delta Force.

Here's where things get tricky: As the NovaLogic complaint points out, there's no official U.S. military unit called Delta Force upon which Activision could base said missions. However, there is a Special Operations unit called 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), which is colloquially referred to as Delta Force — but not by the U.S. government.

"The U.S. Army officially denies that any unit called Delta Force exists and does not claim ownership to either the Delta Force name or the logo," the complaint reads.

It gets even deeper: The emblem used by Modern Warfare 3's Delta Force closely resembles the logo for NovaLogic's Delta Force, save for the inversion of a lightning bolt used in both. The 1st SFOD-D wears the U.S. Army Special Operations Command insignia — a red arrowhead surrounding a dagger — though the "unofficial" emblem of Delta Force (as seen on the cover of the autobiography of Col. Charlie Beckwith, the unit's founder) is nearly identical to the insignias used in both games.

NovaLogic claims that Activision has ignored two cease-and-desist letters sent in May and December of last year. The studio is now seeking damages and an injunction for trademark infringement. We've reached out to Activision for a comment.

More from Polygon

A guided video tour of an Unreal Tournament map

  • Freedom Planet gameplay video

  • Adventure Time trailer

  • Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

  • Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty - Overview video

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker