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Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against Tokyo's Totally Unofficial Mario Kart

Today, Tokyo District Court ruled against MariCar, the unofficially real-life Mario Kart, ordering the company to cease lending out Nintendo-themed cosplay and cough up ten million yen in damages.

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That’s nearly $89,000.

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Nintendo filed suit against MariCar, now known as MariMobility, early last year for intellectual property violation. The MariCar tours are incredibly popular with tourists, ranking high on Trip Advisor.

But besides the obvious copyright issues, there have been other problems, including incidents of tourists crashing MariCar go-karts.

Illustration for article titled Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against Tokyos Totally Unofficial Mario Kart
Screenshot: MariCar

The MariCar homepage remains up and still features images of customers in Nintendo-themed costumes, such as Peach, Luigi and Yoshi.

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In an official statement, Nintendo added that it will continue to take the necessary steps to protect its brand and intellectual property.

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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DISCUSSION

Sounds too little too late, and I don’t think this was an actual win overall for Nintendo. Just so people know, Nintendo also lost a lawsuit previously on this same case:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/09/national/crime-legal/patent-authority-rules-nintendo-lets-go-kart-firm-keep-maricar-trademark/

I mean, these guys have been operating for what? Over a decade now?
They make some 90 bucks per person per couple of hours ride, and they have been so successful that there are multiple “tracks” in Tokyo and Osaka.
100 thousand is peanuts to them. I doubt it’s gonna make a difference.

And to be honest, I don’t really like the whole deal. To me it’s yet another example of crappy tourist-imposed fuckery that only serves to disrupt, bother and sometimes provoke accidents that affects locals for the profit of a single company. Something that’s happening in Japan at a scary pace, with some serious consequences for it’s culture. I saw the changes between my trips in 2008 and 2018... a lot of traditional japanese culture is giving way to these fast food like tourist centric crap. It’s disheartening.