EA is facing a lawsuit from a military helicopter manufacturer over the inclusion of the vehicles in Battlefield 3. To avoid the suit, EA has asked a federal judge to rule that depicting the aircraft falls under the company's First Amendment rights.
Kotaku reports that EA's legal talks with Textron, the parent company of Bell Helicopter, broke down. In response, EA filed the action in a Northern California federal court on Friday. EA claims the helicopters are "protected by the First Amendment and the doctrine of nominative fair use." It also notes that the packaging includes a disclaimer that its use of weapons and vehicles is not an official endorsement of the manufacturers.
This argument is somewhat similar to the one used in the NCAA players suit. In that case, the judge ruled that thanks to the protection granted by the first amendment, the company was within its rights.
Shacknews has contacted EA, and will update as more information becomes available.