No amount of blue shells or stars can save the offending company from the judge’s gavel.

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.

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 (US$92,000) 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 30 May, attorney general Mori Yoshiyuki issued an interim judgement describing Mari Mobility’s practices as copyright infringement.

▼ Things would have been a lot smoother if they had quietly paid up.

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
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

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