The copyright infringement lawsuit filed last year by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. against Call of Duty publisher Activision should move forward, according to a Texas federal court judge.
In his February 25 ruling, Judge Robert Schroeder of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas denied the request by Activision to dismiss or transfer the litigation, upholding an earlier ruling by a magistrate judge.
Booker T’s lawsuit alleges that the character Prophet in the popular video game franchise is too similar to the G.I. Bro comic book action hero character he created and copyrighted based on one of his early pro wrestling personas.
“They both have the same muscular build, same skin tone, nearly identical facial features and facial expression, dreads topped with a cap, black, army style clothing, ammo holders strapped to their lower body, and assault rifles, held in a similar fashion with the end of the gun positioned near the character’s right shoulder,” states Judge Schroeder in his ruling. “Because a side-by-side comparison of the works identified in Plaintiff’s complaint are sufficiently similar to plausibly allege striking similarity, Plaintiff has adequately pleaded copying.”
In the first three days of its 2018 release, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 sold more than $500 million in physical copies and downloads. Total sales to date are thought to exceed $1 billion.
Mr. Huffman is represented by Micah Dortch and Chris Lindstrom of the Potts Law Firm and Patrick Zummo with the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo.
The case is Booker T. Huffman v. Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.