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THQ Files Suit Against Activision Over Baja Box Art

Publisher THQ is suing Activision Blizzard, claiming the latter's upcoming SCORE International Baja 1000 uses box art with elements "virtually identical" to the former's packaging for Baja Edge of Control, which shipped in September.
Publisher THQ filed suit against Activision Blizzard in the Central District of California for trade dress and copyright infringement, alleging that the latter's upcoming SCORE International Baja 1000 uses box art with artwork elements that are "virtually identical" to the former's packaging for Baja Edge of Control. THQ first revealed its cover art for Baja Edge of Control, an off-road racer developed by 2XL Games, in June 2008, before shipping the game in North America and Europe in September. According to the publisher, it has so far spent over $1 million to market, advertise, and promote the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title. In a complaint first discovered by website Patent Arcade, THQ claims that Activision's SCORE International Baja 1000 The Official Game, which is likewise based on the Baja 1000 racing event, uses front and back packaging art elements identical to its own game. The background and foreground vehicles on both covers seem similarly colored, positioned, and angled. Developed by Left Field Games, SCORE International Baja 1000 is slated to ship to stores for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC in the U.S. on October 28, 2008. The company also says that it contacted Activision earlier this month and urged them to prepare alternative box art for SCORE International Baja 1000, but the latter refuses to make any changes. THQ asked the court to enjoin the game's release. "If Activision is not enjoined from its impending release of the Activision Game bearing the [similar packaging art], THQ will suffer damages in an amount as yet unknown, but in excess of the jurisdictional minimum of this court and to be determined at trial," says THQ in its complaint. "THQ also would be entitled to Activision's profits from the sale of the Activision Game..."

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