NINTENDO HAS CAUGHT ON TO THE FACT THAT another Japanese business has sensed that there is money and fun to be had from Mario Kart, and the games company is not happy about it.
Nintendo found that a company was using go-karts to replicate some of the Mario Kart fun, and running them around in Japan. Nintendo, which probably could have enjoyed this, or let some other people enjoy it, decided to give lawyers all of the fun, and sent them out with cease and desist mushrooms.
We read about this on Bloomberg, which reports that a company called MariCar has been letting people dress up like Mario, Princess and that monkey, get in karts and tour around Tokyo.
Although passengers are not racing they are provided with a nice tour of the city. Bloomberg says a few companies do such a thing, but MariCar is the one that has Nintendo's attention.
"When the defendant company rents a public road cart to that customer, we lend a costume of a famous character such as our ‘Mario', etc., and the image and the video of the costume are displayed We use it for publicity and sales without obtaining our permission, but we insist that such acts fall under unfair competition and copyright infringement acts against us," it said in a statement that we have run through Google translate.
"In order to protect our valuable intellectual property that we have built up over many years of effort, we will continue to take resolute measures in the future."
Bloomberg adds that Nintendo believes that this is worth damages of 10 million yen (£70,000 approx).
Maricar is disappointed, which it would be, saying:"We will work with all our might to protect the smiles of our customers," it said.
MariCar karts do look a bit like Mario Karts, but the Nintendo version is rather generic to start with. The tour service doesn't just ape the Mario Kart experience and, in fact, participants can dress up in all manner of costumes including Superhero ones.
The website is up and running and it does not seem to have been affected by the advances from Nintendo. µ
Liberté, égalité, no piracy
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