According to a new report from Anime News Network, it has been announced that MariMobility has been ordered to pay ¥50 million JPY (approximately $466,000 USD) to Nintendo. This came after a court ruling from the Intellectual Property High Court in Japan.
It’s a bizarre sight when walking the streets of Tokyo. Amongst the lanes of traffic, you’ll occasionally see a line of go-karts similarly resembling video game, MarioKart. It’s a smart business move and one that immerses tourists into the pop culture of Japan, but when it’s done without the knowledge of Nintendo, copyright infringement is inevitable.
Back in October of 2018, it was announced that the popular tourist experience ‘MariCar’ which included Mario Kart costuming and branding would be shut down. While the business changed its name to MariMobility, nevertheless Nintendo handed the company a cease and desist as well as ordering the company to pay $90,000 USD for on-road damages and intellectual property violation.
Since then, MariMobility appealed the cease and desist and refused to pay for damages – however this was then taken to the Intellectual Property High Court in Japan. Given on May 30, the attorney-general Mori Yoshiyuki issued an interim judgment concluding that MariMobility had infringed on Nintendo’s copyright and intellectual property rights.
While tourists make up 90 percent of its clientele – all users need is an international drivers licence – this most recent news leaves the future of the company on a rainbow road whirlwind.