According to a report by Gamesindustry.biz, EA has was approached late last year by lawyers representing Textron, a conglomerate that includes military helicopter-manufacturer Bell Helicopters. Textron demanded that three of the Bell models included in Battlefield 3 are removed from the game, though documents recently submitted to a North Carolina court suggest that an agreement has not been reached by the parties. In these documents, EA indicates it has “a reasonable and strong apprehension that it will soon face a trademark and/or trade dress action from Textron” over the represenation of Bell’s H-1Z Viper, UH-1Y and V-22 Osprey helicopters.
The United States Supreme Court afforded video games the same First Amendement rights enjoyed by other media, such as books or films, in Juni 2011. This ruling is expected to strengthen EA’s position in the current case.