General George S. Patton once said, “There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by praying.” You can add “by filing a lawsuit” now. As reported by Video Gamer Law, Maximum Games, the publisher of History Legends of War: Patton, is being sued by CMG Worldwide Inc. who claims to have worldwide commercial rights to Patton’s likeness granted by the family.
This is a little different from Manuel Noriega’s lawsuit against Activision for using his likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, or Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against Take Two for her supposed likeness in Grand Theft Auto V in that Patton is deceased and the family did indeed grant commercial rights to another company. Since courts have found that historical figures can be used in creative works without a license, the decision should be a slam dunk for Maximum Games, right? Not so fast. Video Gamer Law points out that a key point for the courts in this case would be that Patton’s famous persona is the central draw of this game which means CMG Worldwide may have a legitimate claim.