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Japan: Nintendo wins ‘Maricar’ lawsuit, 50 million yen to be paid in damages

Nintendo has announced via their Japanese website that it’s won another lawsuit and this time it was against Maricar in Japan. Legal proceedings to protect Nintendo’s IP started in 2017. Popular with tourists and locals alike, Maricar is an attraction in Tokyo which allows paying customers to rent a go kart, dress up in some familiar character costumes and drive around Tokyo. Understandably, this got noticed by Nintendo and for the last few years a lawsuit filed by Nintendo against Maricar has been met with appeals. But it’s been announced today the Supreme Court ruled in Nintendo’s favour and Maricar has to pay 50 million yen in damages.

The news release on Nintendo’s website states the following but you can read the full details of the situation here.

Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minami-ku, Kyoto City, President: Shuntaro Furukawa, hereinafter “the Company”), Marika Co., Ltd. (current trade name: MARI Mobility Development Co., Ltd., Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter “Defendant Company” ) And its representative director (hereinafter, also referred to as “defendants”), in the proceedings filed on February 24, 2017, the defendants filed a petition for acceptance of the appeal, but on December 24, 2020. On the date, the First Small Court of the Supreme Court decided not to accept the case as a court of appeal. 

As a result, the Intellectual Property High Court has finalized the appeal decision ordering the injunction against unfair competition against the defendant company and the payment of damages of 50 million yen to the defendants.

From Nintendo’s news release 28/12/2020

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16 thoughts on “Japan: Nintendo wins ‘Maricar’ lawsuit, 50 million yen to be paid in damages”

    1. No company would allow this. This is well beyond just a fan project, it’s straight up theft of another IP to drastically improve monetary gain. I don’t understand why people feel like if something is owned by a comoany then they have the right to do anything with it. For example, if an individual makes a music track and someone desides to put it in a movie without permission, everyone would call them out for theft. But if a company published said music track, even though it was still composed by an individual, people feel like it’s magically public domain now and they can use all the songs in anything they create.

      1. Was actual profit involve.

        And before you start venomously white-knighting Nintendo, chill out, and seriously think about the exact company you’re justifying.

      2. “Was actual profit involve.

        And before you start venomously white-knighting Nintendo, chill out, and seriously think about the exact company you’re justifying.”

        You don’t understand how this works.

        Other parties don’t have to make a profit for it to damage your brand. Nintendo has the option to license such ideas to third parties, or perform such ideas themselves if they want to. Now, the novelty of such an idea is gone.

        If I go around handing out free replicas of luke skywalkers lightsaber, the fact that I’m handing them out for free doesn’t alter the fact that I’m illegally taking demand away from a product for which Disney owns the rights. Moreover, IP protection requires active participation. If you don’t consistently defend your ownership of a property, that lack of enforcement can be used as evidence in court that you don’t actually own that property.

        You’re judging these companies without even the slightest idea of what’s going on.

  1. they should have just attempted to work out a deal with the IP holders from the start, especially if you are doing it in their country of origin.

    1. That’s 100% untrue. Wouldn’t have to be in a 2nd world or communist country to get away with this. Every 1st world country would without a doubt consider this IP theft.

  2. Was anyone really surprised by this considering nintendo does this with every i.p. every home made game even those not for monetary gain. YouTube videos containing music or imagery. Point blank get permission or dont do it at all.
    Even charity contest get the FU from nintendo.

    Lol ofcourse everyone seems to have forgotten because sephiroth was released on smash bros ultimate.

    1. What an idiot. These people are straight-up illegally using another’s IP to make a crap-ton of money, it’s obviously illegal and there are consequences for that. It’s not at all comparable to emulators or OST videos (which are definitely more justifiable, though technically it’s still within Nintendo’s right to take them down).

      1. Point blank even though sometimes the people mean well and when its legal things get taken to court by nintendo. Dont fuck with nintendo folks lol

        I do hate it when the company does things like that but its justifiable. Iwata wouldnt have liked that one bit though.

  3. Nintendo stopped this, because:

    A) Maricar could come under fire in the future and they don’t want the Nintendo brand to be part of the fall out. Imagine someone gets run over by a car dressed as Mario. That would look bad for Nintendo.

    B) this may be something Nintendo wants to pursue in their future as a company. It is THEIR intellectual property to do with as they wish. A Mario Kart experience is well within Nintendo’s thoughts, especially with a new Nintendo themed amusement park having opened.

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