Japanese go-kart operator Mari Mobility has been ordered to pay Nintendo 50 million yen (US$460,000 at today’s exchange rates) in an intellectual property infringement case.
Kotaku reports that Mari Mobility was found guilty of infringing on Nintendo’s intellectual property by offering Nintendo-themed costumes for customers to wear as they drive decked-out go-karts through the streets of Tokyo. It was also determined that the go-karting company’s original name of ‘MariCar’ closely resembles that of Mario Kart.
Recently, the company rebranded itself as Street Kart, likely in a bid to avoid further legal action against it from Nintendo. It now also supplies customers with superhero-themed outfits and the company’s karts featured stickers reading “Unrelated to Nintendo.”
In September 2018, Nintendo initially won the lawsuit against Mari Mobility for intellectual property violations and the company was ordered to pay 10 million yen ($136,281). However, it unsuccessfully appealed that fine and this latest verdict has seen the amount jump to 50 million yen ($678,442).
Go-karting through the streets of Tokyo is hugely popular for tourists and a top-rated activity on Trip Advisor. It remains to be seen what impact the fine will have on Mari Mobility but those who want to live out their fantasies of playing ‘Mario Kart’ in real life will hope the service isn’t forced to shut up shop.