EA has sought First Amendment Protection following a dispute with a helicopter maker who wants depictions of its vehicles removed from Battlefield 3.
Textron, parent company of Bell Helicopters, had its lawyers write to EA in request that its military choppers be removed from the first-person shooter.
Discussions between the two parties apparently broke down before EA, anticipating a lawsuit from Textron, asked a federal judge to rule that depicting real-life aircraft is within its First Amendment rights.
According to the suit, filed in federal court for the Northern District of California on Friday, EA makes the case that its depictions of real-life vehicles "are protected by the First Amendment and the doctrine of nominative fair use." It also notes that a disclaimer on the game's packaging states that the appearance of real vehicles and weapons 'does not constitute any official endorsement by their maker'.
EA says it "has a reasonable and strong apprehension that it will soon face a trademark and/or trade dress action from Textron".
Game developer DICE has recently detailed a list of weapon attachment tweaks it has planned for the game.