Go-kart firm seeks to dismiss Nintendo suit over ‘Mario Kart’ copyright


Tokyo-based go-kart operator MariCar on Tuesday sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Nintendo Co. for alleged copyright violations, the firm’s lawyer confirmed.

In the suit, filed with the Tokyo District Court in February, Nintendo claims MariCar is renting unauthorized costumes of Nintendo game characters such as Super Mario to its customers and using pictures of them to promote its business.

To do so without permission from Nintendo constitutes a copyright violation and an act of unfair competition, the Kyoto-based video game giant has said. Nintendo also alleges that MariCar is an abbreviation of “Mario Kart,” one of its blockbuster game titles.

During the first hearing of the trial on Tuesday, MariCar argued that another company rented out the costumes and vehicles and it merely provided maintenance, according to its lawyer.

The go-karts have been modified to run on public roads, with the business increasingly popular with tourists.

Nintendo is seeking ¥10 million in damages from the company and an end to the alleged copyright infringement.

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