The Tokyo-based go-kart rental company formerly known as “MariCar” comes to an abrupt stop as High Court enforces intellectual property ruling.
The company was accused of borrowing a little too much intellectual property from Nintendo after marketing themselves as offering real-life Mario Kart rental. They also rented character costumes enabling customers to dress up as Mario, Luigi and various other game Nintendo characters while zooming around the streets of Tokyo in “Mario Karts”.
With the first trial starting back in 2017, this three-year lawsuit looks like it has finally come to an end. The court ruled in Nintendo’s favour after the go-kart company also used photos featuring customers dressed as Nintendo characters as heavy promotional marketing.
Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court stated that “Mari Mobility Development’s actions have infringed upon Nintendo’s operating profits.” and that they must pay Nintendo 50 million yen (US$454,500).
Various accidents have happened among drivers of the rented karts in the past, partly due to the small kart size that presents problems in Toyko’s heavy traffic. Understandably, Nintendo wants to distance themselves and try to protect the squeaky clean child-friendly image that they have maintained throughout the years.
Unfortunately for tourists and Mario-Kart fans who had hoped to visit Tokyo and partake in a Mario-Kart-inspired drive around its streets, it seems the possibility is no longer there. Or, at least, not with such a heavy emphasis on the Mario-Kart and Nintendo theme.