Nintendo’s enforcement of its intellectual property is known to be ruthless, with the company already having a bad reputation when it comes to enforcing copyright laws across the internet. However, Nintendo have now turned their attention to a go cart company operating in Tokyo and have decided to pursue them for infringing upon Nintendo’s copyright by launching a copyright suit.
The go cart company, called MariCar, provides tours of Tokyo’s Shibuya ward by allowing customers to travel around the streets in Super Mario Kart-themed go karts. The tours can cost anywhere from $53 to $71 and are hugely popular. Judging by their Facebook page, it looks like MariCar have been providing these Super Mario Kart-themed tours for some time and have acquired over 4,000 reviews, most of which are very positive.
As reported by Kotaku, the suit states that Nintendo feels that the name of the company, MariCar, is too similar to Mario Kart. Not only that, but as the company provide tours with a Super Mario Kart theme with customers dressed up as iconic characters from the game, Nintendo feel that it could cause confusion amongst the public who may believe that the company is affiliated with Nintendo.
Therefore, Nintendo are suing the company for infringing upon their copyright and “will continue to take steps to protect the intellectual property it has built over many years of hard work.” In addition to launching the copyright suit, Nintendo have also brought a charge against the company under Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act.
Since Nintendo seem pretty determined to protect their property, this may spell the end of MariCart in Japan.
It’s important to remember though that Nintendo are fully within their rights to pursue the suit, especially as MariCar have not purchased any licenses to use the Mario theme or paid any royalties and have profited considerably from their business which is clearly based on Nintendo’s hit franchise. Nintendo have claimed that they issued several warnings to the company but received no response.
From the suit, Nintendo are seeking ¥10 million in damages as well as an end to their copyright being infringed.
Source: *Japan Times