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Nintendo’s victory over MariCar ended by Japan’s Supreme Court



The final shell was thrown in the long legal battle, and it was a blue one.

On December 25, Judge Katsuyuki Kizawa of the Supreme Court of Japan dismissed an appeal by Mari Mobility Development Inc. regarding the popular tourist attraction once known as MariCar. As a result, their three-year legal battle with Nintendo has ended in favor of the video game giant.

The reason for the lawsuit is probably obvious without knowing the background history, which the service that lets people go karting around the streets of Tokyo and Osaka, are just a few letters from the popular racing game series Mario Kart. A further aggravation of the case was that MariCar once allowed customers to wear Nintendo-themed costumes while driving for an experience similar to the game.

In 2017, Nintendo first filed a lawsuit against MariCar for fear that accidents that occur during go-kart rides could damage the Mario Kart brand. In fact, since filing, a cyclist and building were both hit by maps in separate incidents.

In September 2018, Tokyo District Court withdrew in favor of Nintendo and ordered MariCar to stop renting Nintendo-themed costumes and pay compensation of 10 million yen (US $ 97,000). However, they kept the name and distanced themselves from the games by polishing their cars with “not related to Nintendo” in both English and Japanese.

Both companies were dissatisfied with the result and appealed In January 2020, the High Court of Intellectual Property also went to Nintendo and increased the compensation to 50 million yen ($ 483,000) and ordered the use of the name “MariCar” to stop.

The company, which had since renamed itself as “Street Kart”, appealed, but by this time the damage had been done, and when COVID-19 quickly shut down the tourists who made up their core customers, things looked bleak.

▼ Street Map is especially aimed at people visiting from other countries.

A crowdfunding attempt was made this summer, but probably because their “MariCar” brand awareness had disappeared, it fell short.

Netizens in Japan, which largely saw this as an open and closed case from the start, was largely surprised that it was still going on, but overwhelmingly agreed with the verdicts.

“It’s just the way it goes.”
“This had still not been decided?”
“When I think about it, I have not seen any go-karts around Tokyo since the corona. But now we have to deal with the people of Uber Eats. ”
“Sorry, but I can not find any sympathy for MariCar. Do business right or get crushed. ”
“Even without the lawsuit, I do not think it would survive COVID-19.”
“Finally some good news!”
“They chose the wrong company to mess with.”
“Anyone who misses it can still check out the USJ tour.”

“Okay, now we can talk about how Mario is a rip-off of Mickey. Look at the pants and gloves and listen to how they both talk. Come on guys !!! ”

Huh … I’ve never noticed it before, but there are many similarities between Mario and Mickey. They both have names of five letters beginning with “M”, and the jaw lines are both strikingly similar. Sure, he did not start to look like that, but he certainly seems to be getting more Mickeyfied as the years go by.

▼ Look, I’m just asking questions here….

Anyway, Street Kart’s sites are up for grabs right now, which means they can still try to tough it out and regain their former success. However, with the Nintendo case finally settled, their future now seems to rest mainly in the hands of a global pandemic.

Source: NHK News Web, Hachima Kiko, Street Map, Mari Mobility Inc.
Photos: © SoraNews24
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