EA and aircraft makers Bell settle over use of aircraft trademarks in Battlefield 3.
Back in 2012, EA got into a bit of a legal spat with aircraft makers Bell over the use of the aircraft in Battlefield 3, specifically such machines as the Huey and the Viper, which were playable in the game. It was a pre-emptive lawsuit, issued by EA after attempts to license the use of the machines fell through, and EA’s initial filing said that: “EA therefore has a reasonable and strong apprehension that it will soon face a trademark and/or trade dress action from Textron.” So, to stop that from happening, they decided to sue first.
Isn’t big business grand?
Anyway, EA claimed that their use of the trademarked vehicles was protected under Fair Use and First Amendment rights and wanted to use the images without paying, and Bell wanted them to pay. The argument goes that, after all, films don’t pay royalties when they use shots of the aircraft. Regardless, it’s all now been settled, though both sides have so far kept quiet on how it’s been settled.