Film distributor pays the price for 'Call of Duty'

Video game publisher Activision is to receive compensation because a film used the title of one of its most popular games.

The publisher of popular video game “Call of Duty” is to receive 600,000 yuan (US$93,548) in compensation from a domestic film distributor for releasing a film with the same title in Chinese.

US-based Activision Publishing’s “Call of Duty” franchise entered the Chinese market in January, 2004 and soon became one of the most popular video games. Its Chinese translation is “Shiming Zhaohuan."

In September 2015, Beijing-based Huaxia Film Distribution Co imported and screened action thriller “The Gunman,” starring Sean Penn, in domestic cinemas. Its Chinese title was "Shiming Zhaohuan.”

Activision argued that Huaxia misled the public by using the widely-recognized name as the Chinese title, while Huaxia claimed it was not the one who decided on the title, and that it was also just a kind of summary of the film's content.

On Monday, Pudong New Area People’s Court ruled that Huaxia's use of the name “Shiming Zhaohua” was an attempt to exploit the game's popularity and constituted unfair competition.

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