NEW YORK (AP) — Rockstar Games is firing back in a legal tussle over the use of a Pinkerton security company's name in its video game "Red Dead Redemption 2."
Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations sent a cease and desist letter to Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, in December, claiming the popular Wild West video game uses their trademarks without permission, according to court documents.
"Red Redemption 2" tells the story of an outlaw gang being pursued by bounty-hunters and mercenaries, including agents of the historic Pinkerton National Detective Agency, the documents said.
The famous detective agency claims the video game "is likely to cause confusion" with their Pinkerton trademark and detective badge and said it was prepared to take legal action if a license agreement was not reached, the documents said.
On Friday, Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan seeking an injunction against Pinkerton and a ruling that the use of the Pinkerton name in the game be covered by the First Amendment.
"Put simply, Defendants cannot use trademark law to own the past and prevent creators from including historical references to Pinkerton agents in depictions of the American West," the lawsuit said.
An email message seeking comment from Pinkerton was not immediately returned.