Nintendo

Japan: Nintendo Has Sued The Company That Lets You Race Mario Karts In Real Life

Marika Co. allows members of the Japanese public to race around in real life Mario themed Karts dressed as the iconic plumber and company. This isn’t officially licensed by Nintendo so the Kyoto based company is suing the firm and alleges that the company is guilty of intellectual property infringement. Here’s the press release from Nintendo:

“In this lawsuit, against the defendant company which provides rental services for public road carts, we have declared the mark ‘Marika’, which is an abbreviation of ‘Mario Kart’ widely known as the series of racing games that we manufacture and sell.

“In addition, when the defendant company rents a public road cart to that customer, they lend a costume of a famous character such as our ‘Mario’, etc., and the image and the video of the costume are displayed.

“They use it for publicity and sales without obtaining our permission, and we insist that such an act falls under unfair competition and copyright infringement acts against us.”

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45 comments

    1. Especially when you are using it to make money. This doesn’t only trample on the terms of fair use but it’s blatant trademark infringement. This is no mere Pokémon party or YouTube review this is a pretty undefendable.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Unfortunate, it was a pretty great concept. Look up “Maricar Japan” on Youtube if you want some footage of it.
    That being said, Nintendo had the rights to do it, so there’s nothing that can be done. Would be really cool if it was Nintendo themselves came up with this brilliant idea, or even just picked up the business for the future, but I really doubt that’s ever going to happen.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. ||Well we enjoy having absolute control over the masses, we can’t have civilians running around doing whatever they want…||

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  2. If Nintendo was smart, they could join Marika Co. and make this thing official. It would be a great tool to increase mindshare. The same goes for the freeware, unlicensed games which make use of Nintendo characters. I don’t see them as threats, but as declarations of love instead.

    However, it seems Nintendo prefers to make enemies, and not friends. They are legally granted to do that, though.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. ||Because no one has asked them yet…||

        ||Bring forth a formal proposition and they will as minimum listen to you…||

        ||But everyone wants to earn resources by using High Command’s property…||

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      2. ||Until someone can prove that they submitted a formal proposal to High Command, this will be the definitive logical stance until further notice…||

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks cool, but driving around in the street is very dangerous and would only set up Nintendo for a lawsuit. I just cant see this happening ever. Maybe in a confined space were regular GoKarts get MK themed, like that theme park thing theyre working on, but not this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, it’s probably not that much more dangerous than driving a motorcycle, I believe you’ll be fine with both as long as you drive responsibly. The business required you to have a driver’s license to be eligible, among some other rules. Insurance was included in the price, but responsibility for accidents caused by negligance or reckless driving was on the driver.
        I like the theme park idea as well, would offer a more “authentic” Mario Kart experience when it’s an actual race with laps, but driving through the streets of Japan in Mario Kart style sounds like a really neat idea I definitely would have loved to try out myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah It definitely does seem very nice. Still though, with Nintendo and how anal they are about their image as well. It just seem like a no.

        Then again, Nintendo has backpedaled on a lot of thing these last few years. So I guess I shouldnt say ever.

        Hmm, I wasnt aware of the whole drivers assuming all responsibility part when negligent or reckless.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sorry but I feel really bad for the people that are attacking Nintendo in this.
    They blatantly stole their IP and used it to make money, how exactly is that fair? Short answer is it’s not.
    And for the whole “Nintendo should team up with them rather than suing them” argument, that would be a huge kick to the teeth to the people that went through the legal channels to get Nintendo’s permission for using their IP’s.
    Nintendo is in the right here, plain and simple.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t think the courts will care about the Marika name because Nintendo doesn’t have a foot in the road cart market. The costumes could be argued to be cosplay rental and I’ve never heard of a company sueing cosplay before

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    1. The courts will care in this case. The costumes, if sold were being sold as cosplay should be warn for fun, or for something that doesn’t make them direct profit publicly. Also not to represent their company as a selling point to rent other products such as go-carts. This would be the same if someone sold you a car at toyota and it had the batman logo on it or the jokers face or other artwork from dc’s company. If a company sells a product that has a main selling tragedy of another company’s product or design then it is infringement and basically illegal. Also, cosplay is designed by the person wearing or an unlicensed third party cosplayer or designer. So if the company is using costumes licensed by Nintendo with their rentals then they must gain permission to include their licensed products. For example, I cannot purchase a product from esty or anywhere and give one away or sell it with our magazine issues. Because that company or individual may not want their product advertised or associated with mine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea, I was curious about how come cosplay sellers and fanmade shirts, etc don’t get in trouble and guessed it’s related to how publicized the shops/manufacturers were.
        Even though in this case Marika is probably giving Nintendo free advertisement, ignoring an unlicenced trademark use that’s become well known could be seen as not defending a trademark which is required to keep a trademark from expiring.

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    2. The Road Cart Market? hahahaha you people will say anything to try and evade the fact that copyright exists won’t you.

      Sorry pal but the Courts will definitely care here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know what you’re talking about there but in this case the Company in question are clearly using assets that don’t belong to them and they didn’t get permission either. It’s somewhat petty I know but that’s the way Copyright works.

        If somebody started to use or rip off something you made or something that belongs to you it wouldn’t be very nice now would it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m pretty sure that lending costumes is not illegal as long as they don’t use copyrighted names like “Nintendo” or “Super Mario”.

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    1. I think that would depend on the costume accuracy. I doubt you could patent or trademark generic overalls in a specific color. But if they distinctly replicated the exact design that might be a red flag.

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  6. The reason they don’t “join up” like some have suggested is simple. If they make a relationship with a company as partners, it would be because they strongly agree with their marketing plan and have the same vision. But as it stands the company that is doing this may or may not have good business practices that could reflect Nintendo in Japan or those who are seeing it online in a negative way in the future. Nintendo has no way of knowing this companies business goals and they have already proven to be unoriginal and somewhat disregarding so far. So instead of Nintendo joining a company just because they are knocking off the idea that Nintendo previously came up with, they’ll instead want to cease this action so that the market isn’t flooded with knock off ideas that restrict the possibility of Nintendo expanding their market and keeping the company alive and well. Most fans of games and their companies or franchises believe that these companies only exist to entertain the consumer/customer when in fact they are doing what they love and making choices in their business to both protect the brand while doing market research for future expansion and doing all that is necessary to make a good profit for each year. This is all of course feeds the hungry mouths of all the families who are employed by these companies or franchises.

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