A Japanese court has found in favour of Nintendo in trademark litigation brought by the video game maker against a “Mario Kart”-inspired go-karting rental company.
In a statement issued yesterday, May 30, Nintendo said Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court had issued an interim judgement that MariCar’s practices constitute unfair competition.
Nintendo’s “Mario Kart” is a series of go-kart style racing video games which incorporates characters from the company’s “Super Mario” universe.
According to Nintendo, the IP court found that MariCar had infringed Nintendo’s trademarks ‘Mario Kart’ and ‘Mario KART’ in the advertisement of its services.
MariCar rents out go-karts in Tokyo with riders being given a character costume from Nintendo’s “Mario Kart” series, such as Mario, Luigi, or Princess Peach.
Additionally, the court recognised that certain Nintendo characters, such as Mario, are world famous indications of the Nintendo brand, and MariCar’s use of such characters was unlawful.
Nintendo said that proceedings will continue as the court will now make a decision on the amount of damages to be awarded for the infringement.
“We will continue to take necessary measures against infringements of our brand in order to protect our valuable IP that we have built up over the years,” Nintendo said (in a translated press release).
The dispute dates to February 2017, when Nintendo filed a complaint against MariCar at the Tokyo District Court.
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