Nintendo have won a 350,000-GBP lawsuit against a go-kart rental company who marketed themselves as a real-life ‘Mario Kart’ with customers able to hire outfits from the famous game.
Japanese gaming giants Nintendo first took legal action against Mari Mobility Development in a 2017 lawsuit. Nintendo argued that Mari Mobility Development’s go-kart rental service in the Japanese capital Tokyo was based heavily on their game Mario Kart.
Mari Mobility Development’s original name was MariKart, which in Japanese katakana script is written the same as Japanese fans’ nickname for the Mario Kart series.
The rental company allowed customers to hire costumes for characters such as Luigi, Mario and others from the Nintendo world while they drove the karts around the streets of Tokyo. The service was reportedly popular with tourists.
Mari Mobility Development reportedly used the images of customers in the hired costumes heavily in their marketing and Nintendo took them to court for unlawful use of the Mario Kart name and imagery.
In 2017, Tokyo’s First District Court sided with Nintendo and ordered the rental company to pay them 10 million JPY (69,850 GBP) in damages.
Both parties appealed the decision, with Nintendo asking for a 50-million-JPY (350,674 GBP) payout and Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court has now sided with the gaming giants, ordering the 50-million-JPY payout.
The rental company said in a statement: “We deeply regret that portions of our position were not accepted, and we will be closely examining the contents of the ruling while deciding on our next course of action.”
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