: The district judge said Fizzer's case lacks legal merit and decided in favor of Activision. Fizzer is now appealing. This is something I (and others) had predicted and, given Fizzer's been telling us for 16 months that Activision's the one without a case, this is just another piece of evidence that you donors are getting taken advantage of.
Oh hey there's actually been an update! The last update I gave y'all was on 04/04, when Activision filed a notice of supplemental authority supporting its motion to dismiss Warzone's claim that Activision was infringing on Warzone's claimed common law trademark to the "warzone."
Since then:On August 15, 2022
, the judge granted
Activision's motion to dismiss counterclaims (Warzone's claim that Activision should either stop using "warzone" or pay Fizzer money for it). This is the docket text:
1. The court declares that Activisions use of the WARZONE and CALL OFDUTY WARZONE Marks does not infringe, and at all times has not infringed,any existing and valid common law trademark rights of Defendant under theLanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a); 2. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiff on the Complaint; and 3. Defendants counterclaims are dismissed without leave to amend. (MD JS-6. Case Terminated) (lc)
The original case, with the California Central District Court, is now closed.On September 9, 2022
, Fizzer appealed the judgement
in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The latest update on the appeal was Activision filling out the Mediation Questionnaire on September 16, 2022.
Just for the record, Warzone's infringement claim getting dismissed is what I (and sanmu and others) had predicted. Please do not take the GoFundMe as the source of truth. At best, it conveniently leaves out information to weave a favorable narrative and get your funds. At worst, it's an outright scam using donor dollars to rent-seek on the word "warzone" by trying to shake down a big company with a fundamentally meritless case and hope they drop a few pennies to make the troll go away- with you paying for the risk & fees.
The case, as I've stated before on this site- and the last time I did so, Fizzer stole $9.99 from me in broad daylight over it- is emphatically not about whether Warzone.com can continue to use the word "warzone." That has never been in dispute.
Activision's own legal theory precludes going after Warzone for using a word "warzone," as does trademark law: they're a protected good faith prior user. Don't trust what they say on paper? For over a year, they've had the (uncontested) "warzone" registered trademark in the EU- and last I checked, Warzone's apps are all still up in Europe.It's about whether Warzone.com can demand money from others for using that word.
If you took the GoFundMe at face value, note that this outcome- Warzone's claims getting dismissed for lack of merit- is one it described as "ABSURD."
They said last time that Activision had no case and was just going to stall and stall and stall with its war chest. So far, Activision has been the one winning on motions, including the ones to speedily resolve this case (while Warzone has been fighting to drag this case into discovery and rack up costs for both parties in the hopes Activision gives in to save money), and now the district judge has found that it is in fact Warzone's infringement claims that are meritless. I'd be surprised if the appellate court arrives to a different conclusion, when Warzone's own lawyers have consistently been relying on legal theories that ask the court to overturn its own precedents.
They lied to you about the merits of the case. They lied to you about the letter they sent in November of 2020 to Activision threatening them with "massive damages" if they didn't stop using the word "warzone." They've played the victim while demanding millions from a successful game that they had nothing to do with, all for using the same widely-used dictionary word that they foolishly gambled on making their brand.
This isn't about the little guy. This game itself, when picking up the word "warzone" for its own, steamrolled dozens of prior games and smaller indie devs with that word. Ever heard of the turn-based strategy game "Warzone" that released in October 2017? No, that's not this one, this one was a month later. Everything this game whines about from Activision- Google rankings, Twitch category, Discord- it did itself to games much smaller (and that wasn't law-breaking either; competition is just the reality of a free market, and sometimes you lose).
This isn't about the integrity of trademark law. I, like many others, found this game searching for a way to "play risk online free." For about a decade, or at least the better part of one, "Play Risk Online Free" was on the title of every page on this game's site. "Risk," unlike "warzone," is
an actual registered trademark, and if you came to this site thinking it was a place to play Risk (or something essentially the same, which this game is not), that was
consumer confusion. They did it until Hasbro's lawyers caught on and made them stop. They were lucky the lawyers didn't care enough to go further. This game is built
on trademark infringement and total disregard for others' intellectual property. But now
, with money on the line, they've apparently found integrity.
This is about funding someone's lottery ticket to a Hail-Mary windfall. You are being played.
Edited 9/19/2022 22:35:12