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Nintendo takes Mario Kart company to court for 2nd time and wins yet again

23 Comments
By Koh Ruide, SoraNews24

Many people have heard of MariCar by now, a Japanese go-kart rental company that lets customers live the Mario Kart dream by letting customers dress up as the video game’s characters and zoom around the streets of Tokyo. Such a concept would have been brilliant if not for the fact that MariCar brazenly carried out this operation without Nintendo’s express approval.

▼ No matter how awesome it seems, it is very much illegal.

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 8.24.04.png

This spurred Nintendo to file a lawsuit, calling for the cease and desist of character costume rentals, which also forced MariCar to rename itself to Mari Mobility. The offending company then appealed against being ordered to pay 10 million yen in damages.

Perhaps it was Mari Mobility’s reluctance in compensating that further drove Nintendo to bring the case up to the Intellectual Property High Court. On May 30, attorney general Mori Yoshiyuki issued an interim judgement describing Mari Mobility’s practices as copyright infringement.

Court proceedings are now underway to determine the amount of damages to be awarded to Nintendo, which could potentially end up even higher than the original sum of 10 million yen.

“We will continue to take necessary measures against infringements of our brand in order to protect our valuable intellectual property that we have developed over the years,” Nintendo commented.

Japanese netizens simply shook their heads at Mari Mobility’s folly:

“They’re idiots. Did they really think they can beat Nintendo’s legal team?”

“It’s sad that this service is still operating. Good job, Nintendo!”

“It’s only a matter of time before it disappears from Tokyo forever.”

“That’s the strongest legal team right there.”

“Is this whole fiasco still going on?”

Speeding around Tokyo dressed up as Mario, Luigi or Princess Peach seems like it’s hurtling toward its final days at the speed of a judge’s gavel slamming down. Which is probably for the best, really, considering how easily those dangerous go-karts get into accidents.

Source: Bengo4, Automaton via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo’s “real-life Mario Kart” go-kart rental company loses lawsuit against Nintendo

-- MariCar Mario Kart driver mounts pavement, causes serious damage in Tokyo accident

-- Nintendo Shutting Down Real World Mario Kart Fraud

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Forget the Nintendo and Legal ramifications, how did the company last so long with their clearly non-street legal vehicles operating on busy roads? It should have been shut down long before Nintendo even stepped in by Tokyo officials. I'm surprised no one got killed on those things.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

So what was the legal basis for shutting them down this time? They did not provide costumes. They did not use the name Nintendo or any of the trademarked names.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Its quite clear what the company was set up to do ( allegedly copy Mario ) it so clear, and it is what they play on, I am surprised that they have been allowed to carry on so long, as for accidents or being dangerous, Is there any evidence of there being any accidents? has there been any road traffic accidents or bumps? with pedestrians or cars/busses? if there has not well they are safe. It looks like that there going to get some more free advertising on J news!!.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They clearly were violating Nintendo trademarks in the past. They stopped supplying Nintendo character costumes. I haven't heard of any accidents, at least anything serious enough to make the news.

The carts ARE street legal, and have the license plates to prove it. ("Safe" and "street-legal" are two separate things.)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

GOOD!

I still remember when one of these idiots went into the back of my wife's car whilst she was stationary at a set of red traffic lights.

The back bumper was custom made for her Silvia, so you can imagine that it wasn't cheap to replace. (Though the company's insurance did pay out for it)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The offending company then appealed against being ordered to pay 10 million yen in damages.

> Perhaps it was Mari Mobility’s reluctance in compensating that further drove Nintendo to bring the case up to the Intellectual Property High Court.

These sentences contradict each other. The first sentence says Mari Mobility appealed the decision. The next sentence says Nintendo did (the Intellectual Property High Court is an appellate Court in Tokyo, which hears appeals from District Courts on cases involving intellectual property issues like this one does, its not a court of first instance that Nintendo would bring a separate claim to).

These Sora News articles cribbed from Japanese social media postings are just a mess and don't seem to be subject to any fact checking (or to be written by people familiar with the subject matter they are writing about), they don't belong in the regular news section.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why is this company still operating this dangerous and illegal business?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The funniest part of this is that the company is currently doing a massive recruitment push for employees and expansion.

A lot of people may be out of work soon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Personally, I don’t care about the copyright infringements. These things are menace on the roads and should banned regardless of Nintendo.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Brian Wheway: Is there any evidence of there being any accidents? has there been any road traffic accidents or bumps? with pedestrians or cars/busses? if there has not well they are safe.

To answer your question; March 1st, 2018 Japan Times headline reads "Japanese police log 50 accidents involving go-karters on Tokyo streets over 11-month period"

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/01/national/japanese-police-log-50-accidents-involving-go-karters-tokyo-streets-11-month-period/#.XPYgZogzaUk

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Brian Wheway, “Is there any evidence of there being any accidents?”

Taj, “I haven't heard of any accidents, at least anything serious enough to make the news.”

There’s been plenty and they’ve been in the news, even on this site.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/maricar-go-kart-driver-mounts-pavement-causes-serious-damage-in-accident

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/01/national/japanese-police-log-50-accidents-involving-go-karters-tokyo-streets-11-month-period/#.XPYf3BZcWEc

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I personally saw 2 incidents in the past month. One of the carts parked right outside Shibuya station minus one back wheel and an accident close to Hibiya where police was taking notes and the drivers all sitting on the sidewalk.

these things should not be allowed on the streets if only to protect all other road users.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The back bumper was custom made for her Silvia, so you can imagine that it wasn't cheap to replace. (Though the company's insurance did pay out for it)

What exactly are you complaining about? If a taxi had rear-ended your wife, would you want that company put out of business?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why is this company still operating this dangerous and illegal business?

Dangerous is not illegal. And how exactly is it illegal? Because you don't like it?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bugle Boy of Company BToday  06:30 pm JST

Why is this company still operating this dangerous and illegal business?

Dangerous is not illegal. And how exactly is it illegal? Because you don't like it?

Here is illegal;

On May 30, attorney general Mori Yoshiyuki issued an interim judgement describing Mari Mobility’s practices as copyright infringement.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Here is illegal;

On May 30, attorney general Mori Yoshiyuki issued an interim judgement describing Mari Mobility’s practices as copyright infringement.

Just because the AG thinks it is illegal doesn't mean it is. But seriously, you think driving on the road in a road-legal vehicle wearing a costume that you purchased yourself is illegal? Or the part where a company rented out road-legal vehicles?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Get these things off the road before somebody gets killed.

And please, there are so many other, better ways to enjoy Tokyo other than sitting at truck-bumper height in endless red light traffic. Don't do this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you've ever spent time around Ueno Park, you already know, you're taking your life in your hands

(literally) if you drive one of these things in or around Ueno station. Has no one ever been killed from this?

It's a miracle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No law about driving mini cars or carts in Tokyo so who is to say what people should dress like be illegal or trade infringement ? If the costumes are properly licensed then what is the law suit about ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

After reading the above links to accidents with these carts, it looks like they have had a few bumps and scrapes, 50 if I recall in 11 months, but lets put this into some sort of perspective, how many bumps and scrape have happened with car in the same area over the last past 11 months, if its more than 50, well should we not start thinking about banning cars and trucks? as for waring seat belts and helmets that's a good start and should be made compulsory! then we need to look at the stop and indicator lights to, may be they should be mounted higher for better visibility for car drivers following behind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Boohoo Nintendo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brian Wheway

After reading the above links to accidents with these carts, it looks like they have had a few bumps and scrapes, 50 if I recall in 11 months, but lets put this into some sort of perspective...

Ratio and proportion would help your analysis... The number of cars and other vehicles that pass through the area over the number of accidents from these vehicles could easily be more than that of the carts simply because there are more of them  - vs -  the number of carts that drive the same route and its ratio of accidents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Such a trashy article and laughable comments.

Yes the karts are street legal, they have seatbelts, turn signals, headlights and the company also provides helments if the customers want to wear one. All the customers are covered by insurance as well. The karts are way safer than normal 50cc scooters that you see everywhere in the city (they share the same engine too), I dont understand why people are so concerned about them.

Seems like people think that the company only uses nintendo stuff. They dont! Less than 10% of their costumes are nintendo related. They offer costumes of popular anime, disney and other cartoons as well. Nintendo is the only money hungry company that always needs to sue everyone, like that poor couple in Arizona who had to pay them 10 million USD for sharing 20 year old Roms.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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