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Real-Life (And Totally Unofficial) Mario Kart Ordered To Pay Nintendo Over $450,000

Illustration for article titled Real-Life (And Totally Unofficial) Mario Kart Ordered To Pay Nintendo Over $450,000
Screenshot: Official Site
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In Japan, Nintendo has won an intellectual property infringement court case against go-kart operator Mari Mobility (the company formally named Maricar).


Mari Mobility was found guilty of infringing on Nintendo’s intellectual property. The go-karting company’s original name resembles Mario Kart, and it also has offered Nintendo-themed costumes for customers to wear.

“Unrelated to Nintendo,” was written on Mari Mobility’s karts. More recently, the company has rebranded its service as Street Kart, providing superhero-themed outfits. The official site reads:

We at Street Kart is providing our service as usual. Street Kart is fully complied [SIC] through local governing laws in Japan. Street Kart is in no way a reflection of Nintendo, the game ‘Mario Kart’. (We do not provide rental of costumes of Mario Series.)


The service has been a popular tourist attraction. There have, however, been incidents of tourists crashing these karts.

Nintendo was originally awarded 10 million yen ($92,000), but Mari Mobility unsuccessfully appealed, and according to Inside, the latest verdict has increased the amount to 50 million yen ($458,000).

In an official statement, Nintendo said it would continue to take steps against violation of the intellectual property and brands it has worked hard to establish over many years.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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Why wasn't Nintendo already offering something like this? It's right there! People are lining up to throw cash at your face. And Nintendo could afford some bombastic safety measures.