David Blecken
Mar 13, 2017

Nintendo loses suit: 'MariCar' go-kart operator survives

Surprise ruling is a reminder that big brands don't always get their way.

Source: Still from YouTube video by user 'Kolton'
Source: Still from YouTube video by user 'Kolton'

Nintendo has been unsuccessful in its bid to sue MariCar, a novelty go-kart operator based in Tokyo, according to reports.

The creator of Mario Bros announced its intention to sue MariCar for copyright infringement on 24 February. MariCar is a popular tourist attraction that offers the chance to zoom around Tokyo dressed as Mario or Luigi (and a host of other, non-Nintendo-related, characters).

The Japan Patent Office has since dismissed Nintendo’s suit on the grounds that the name ‘MariCar’ is not a known abbreviation of ‘Mario Kart’. Imaginative abbreviations are common in Japan, among the best known being ‘Pokemon’ for ‘Pocket Monsters’.

The decision will come as a surprise to many, who expected an easy victory for Nintendo given Japan’s robust laws around copyright. In its statement, Nintendo criticised MariCar for exploiting brand equity built up over many years.

Campaign Japan

Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

1 day ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

1 day ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

1 day ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.