May 19, 2022

Real-Life Mario Kart Ordered to Pay Nintendo Over £350,000 Over Copyright Infringement

Over in the whacky wilds of Japan, a company called Mari Mobility has lost a court case against Nintendo.

The nature of the claim is over Mari Mobility’s infringement of Nintendo’s IP. To be more specific, their blatant copying of Mario Kart.

Mari Mobility offered customers the chance to jump into go-karts and race around various streets. All whilst offering Nintendo-themed costumes.

Mari Mobility’s original name was “Maricar”. This was only ever going to happen one way, really. I mean, just take a look at this;

As a consequence of the court hearing, Mari Mobility has now rebranded themselves as “Street Kart”. Furthermore, instead of Nintendo-themed costumes, Street Kart offers customers superhero costumes instead.

In response, Street Kart’s website includes the following statement;

“Street Kart is healthy, adventurous, recreation service that provides our customers the opportunity to ride our custom go-cart on the street. ‘Street Kart’ is in no way a reflection of Nintendo, the game ‘Mario Kart’. (We do not provide rental of costumes of Mario Series)”.

Nintendo had originally been awarded 10 million yen (equivalent to £70,000). Mari Mobility unsuccessfully appealed the decision. As reported by Inside, the newest verdict has bumped the claim up to 50 million yen. Which is around £353,250 for anyone keeping track at home.

This is the second court case in as many months that Nintendo has won. This one is slightly more cut and dry than the other, admittedly.

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