Nintendo

Nintendo Stunts Growth For This Cute Bulbasaur Planter With Copyright Infringement

A Pokémon fan project was stopped in its tracks due to copyright infringement after Nintendo and Pokémon International caught wind of its success. Designer Claudia Ng had recently bought a 3D printer, where one of her first projects was to design an adorable Pokémon-themed planter for her friend. It wasn’t until she shared her Bulbasaur design online that she realised the success, placing it on Shapeways – a specially designed website for selling 3D printed projects.

Due to its popularity, the Pokémon International Company contacted Shapeways with a cease and desist, saying it infringed upon the Pokémon Trademark copyrights. Though there’s no official merchandise like this, Claudia Ng says she’s now in contact with the Pokémon Company, but whether we’ll see the planters in affiliation with the company in the future is currently unknown. Claudia Ng said the following to Polygon:

“Shapeways got a cease and desist from Pokémon International for infringement. They received this [last] Friday, and Shapeways took it down within the last hour. They are asking for all the money associated with this model and Shapeways will not be printing or shipping any order for the past few days.

“I thought that this would fall under the boundaries of derivative and transformative work. I’m also not a lawyer, and I guess that is the least defined of rules and regulation.

“It’s not that surprising. I just expected that they would go after people with more infringing designs. Although I admit that it was inspired by my personal favorite starter Pokemon. It’s generic-ness has been adored by people who are not Pokémon fans. Most commonly recognized as a Fat Cat. I’ve also had requests to do other animals and creatures.”

50 comments

    1. Are you kidding me? This doesn’t even resemble the design in anything except shape. Even if I’m all for defending the artists’ rights against pirates (in most cases, anyway), I can’t justify the actions of the PIC in this case. The idea this girl had wasn’t even close to be as offensive as many other unofficial, unpunished products that are still out there, and hers was a very good, original idea. This falls under corporation bullying, in my honest opinion.

      1. “It’s not that surprising. I just expected that they would go after people with more infringing designs.”

        I wasn’t being totally serious but she herself admitted that it wasn’t a surprise so she knew before that she could get caught…

      2. Morals or not, still obvious that she in some ways intended to make oney out of it…

        She should atleast have contacted them…

        But I think the Pokemon Company should hunt the worse ones first…

      3. “But I think the Pokemon Company should hunt the worse ones first”
        Well, I’m glad you think that way. At least you can understand my point of view on the issue.

      4. “in my opinion”…..

        The Pokemon Company and Nintendo are on there high horses right now

        Everyone, even us as Nintendo/Pokemon fans (or involved with this site), we are all enemies of the state

        There failure to connect with consumers not deeply loyal will one day bring them down

        But that’s if nothing changes, how many things (especially people and point of views) don’t change after time?

      5. Soon to be off their horses if they continue with their arrogance…

      6. I just don’t get this case, it seems so random to me. It’s like they arbitrary decided to choose this girl instead of the thousand of fake games, figurines, plushies and similar products/merchandise that actually damage the trademark’s image. The only explanation I have is that the Pokémon Company wants to keep the idea tied down so they can use it themselves.

      7. It’s also not morally right to profit off someone else’s work. No cat in this world is known for plants growing out of their backs.

      8. But it’s not the work of the PIC. At all. I mean, you’d have a point if the company had just made planters for sale and the girl decided to just copy the idea, but this is an entirely different scenario. The only thing in common with Bulbasaur is the shape, nothing more. Meanwhile, cheaper and lower quality products DIRECTLY COPIED from originals made by the company run rampant. Hell, they should go after the people who make unofficial plushies for sale as well, since they’re actually making a similar product to an already existent one. However you look at it, going after her doesn’t make any sense.

      9. But it was still sold as Pokemon merchandise. It’s not about not being offensive, it’s the fact it was still copyright. Yes it was a good idea and I think it’s really nice, but she still does not have a right to sell products and make money from selling unofficial products from a franchise. she should of made a deal with them or something really,.

      10. “But it was still sold as Pokemon merchandise.”
        Same with a lot of other shit that actually deserves a C&D notification. I’m not mad at the company for protecting their interests, but for going against a girl/woman/whatever making fucking planters and demanding every peny as a compensation, for God’s sake.

    2. This isn’t someone who maliciously is trying to steal money from Nintendo or intentionally infringe on their copyright.
      I’m all for protecting one’s copyrights, but there are things like parodies and transformative works which in the case of the latter this could fall under – but usually in these cases it would have to still be resolved and identified as such by a court.

      1. I now but in these times, everything blows out of proportion from the smallest things, which is why people should be extra careful, even though there are hundreds of others with even more obvious “copies”…

      2. Yeah, but often those parodies aren’t intending to make money, She, however, is.

  1. Misleading title is misleading. Makes it sounds like Nintendo directly themselves contacted with the Cease and Desist order. When, in this case, it was through Pokémon International Company.

  2. As much as I hate copyrighting infringement, it’d be great to see companies coming to an agreement with small designers who make 3d printed products. Some of them are actually quite amazing!

  3. it look like to designer had alot of potential to make good business. no wounder these days you dont see new companies in the market because the competition is tough and companies sue each other in order for one company to die faster or get bankrupt. companies now a day sue other companies just for the most littlest thing that resemble their own product.

    1. And it looks like this self-racist is playing cool to “win” back any friendship he never had and never tried to deserve, not after all of the dumb shit you said weeks ago. Stop trying to GTFO.

      1. That was sort of uncalled for. He’s said annoying things in the past, but you can’t call him out on it for every comment he makes.

  4. i never even cared about pokemon even when i got my ds around 2005-2006. the early days of ds were good and there were alot of games. super princess peach seems to be one of the most underrated games on the ds besides most of the unknown sloveware.

      1. it’s alot fun. the level desgines are even better than nsmb on ds and 3ds.

      2. Definitely sounds like my kind of game. The level designs are very important for a side scroller and it will be a nice change of pace to have her in the lead.

  5. Said herself really that she isn’t surprised so she pretty much knew she could of gotten caught and she did. It’s still not allowed. I agree that the idea and the planter is gorgeous, but if she thought that might happen, maybe she could of done it better and make asked about selling these under the companies name. I

    1. Here is my thing, she should of just called it a fat cat, if she thought it might be infringement and that it seems most of her friends that are non pokemon or gamers thought it was a fat cat, all of this could have been avoided to begin with when she decided to actually start selling it

  6. It’s really awesome, would love to own one like that! It doesn’t look too much like the Pokémon it’s based on, but I’m guessing she used the word “Pokémon” when selling it, and therefore people buying it because they acosiated (?) it with the brand. In that way, she earned money of the Pokémon brand!

  7. I’m really not happy that nintendo is doing these kinds of things. Sure, protect your copyrights but don’t go too far.

    1. I get this is infringement because she’s selling something strongly associated with their brand but I would’ve looked at this the other way and call it an opportunity for the Quality of Life standpoint.

  8. I’m kinda glad they shut this down, she should’ve purchased a license from Nintendo like their other merchandisers do. If they allowed her to continue it would devalue the licensing program altogether. Such a simple fix to a simple problem…

  9. The Pokémon Company and Nintendo make enough money, they don’t need a few bucks from this. I don’t agree with the Pokémon Company on this. A hunk of plastic put in the shape that is similar to “1” Pokémon big deal. Its not like she made all 650 Pokémon or however many there are. I suppose she could just say it’s not Bulbasaur, it’s just a creature.

    1. The stupid in some people who frequent this site is astounding, they don’t seem to understand copyright laws, no wonder they defended Let’s Play so fiercely.

  10. Oh boo hoo, it’s a hunk of plastic designed to look like a Pokemon. Jesus fuck Pokemon Company, get that stick out of your ass will yah?

  11. Nintendo was totally jealous of the success. They just want her idea so they can sell it themselves. It was an extremely lucrative product.

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