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Nintendo Sues California Man for Selling Modified Switch, NES Classic Consoles

posted on by Karen Ressler
Defendant allegedly sold "modification services" for Switch

Nintendo of America filed a civil suit against a Orange County, California resident Mikel Euskaldunak and other unknown defendants on Tuesday for modifying Nintendo hardware to play unauthorized games and selling them illegally.

According to the complaint, Euskaldunak had a page on the sales website OfferUp in which he would sell "modification services" for Nintendo Switch consoles. The defendants allegedly developed a means to circumvent Nintendo's hardware and software limitations that prevent its consoles from playing unauthorized games, thereby allowing users to play games they have not purchased legally. The complaint alleges that the defendants modified and sold more than 100 Switch consoles and "derived substantial profit and financial benefit."

The defendants also allegedly included pirated copies of games, including the as-yet-unreleased Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with their modified consoles. They reportedly told customers they were "basically paying for a license for the software."

In addition to the Nintendo Switch modifications, the defendants were also allegedly selling a modified version of Nintendo's NES Classic Edition console. The device was sold at US$15 above its retail value and had more than 800 preloaded games. (The legal version has 30 games preloaded.)

Nintendo's suit is accusing the defendants of copyright and trademark infringement, among other counts. Nintendo is seeking damages, attorneys' fees, and the seizure and destruction of the illegally modified hardware.

Police in Japan arrested 39-year-old Tomoyuki Miyamoto for a similar offense last month. Miyamoto was allegedly selling modified versions of the Nintendo Classic Mini Super Famicon with five additional games.

A federal court in Arizona recently reached a consent judgement in a lawsuit involving Nintendo against the owners of ROM sites LoveROMs.com and LoveRETRO.co, on counts of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. Both sites allowed users to search through playable retro games.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Ashley Cullins)

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