Nintendo: MariCar Go-Kart Company's Appeal Fails; Still on the Hook for 50 Million Yen
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Nintendo announced in a press release on Wednesday that Mari Mobility Development's (formerly MariCar) appeal was denied by the Intellectual Property High Court and go-kart company is ordered to pay Nintendo 50 million yen (US$466,000) in damages.
Tokyo District Court had ordered Mari Mobility Development to pay 40 million yen in its verdict in 2017. Mari Mobility Development filed an appeal on February 24, 2017, sending the case to the Intellectual Property High Court. The court issued an interim judgment in June.
Nintendo first issued a press release regarding the dispute in February 2017. MariCar stated that it had an agreement with Nintendo that allowed its service to operate. However, Nintendo lodged an objection with Japan's Patent Office over MariCar trademarking its name in September 2016. The Office rejected the objection in January 2017 on the grounds that "MariCar"/"MariKar" is not a widely used abbreviation. Regardless, MariCar changed its name to Mari Mobility Development.
Oral proceedings for the lawsuit began in April 2017. At the time, Nintendo was seeking damages of 10,000,000 yen (nearly US$89,000). Mari Mobility Development initially argued that it was not responsible for its customer's use of costumes and go-karts since they were provided by a third party that Mari Mobility Development maintains a relationship with and that Mari Mobility Development was only furnishing and maintaining the go-karts.
Mari Mobility Development let visitors go careening through the streets of Tokyo through famous districts like Akihabara, Shibuya, and Harajuku. It was an especially popular service with foreigners, who made up about 90% of its clientele and only needed an international driver's license to participate.