Nintendo is a worldwide known company. They’ve been releasing video game consoles and software for decades and they certainly are known for plenty of classic characters especially with the Mario franchise. As a result, it doesn’t surprise us too much when other companies are trying to use the characters and likenesses to gather attention. However, that’s certainly a big no no without permission from the owners of the IP.
When it comes to Nintendo, the company is not one to allow too many people to mess with their franchises. Fan games are typically killed off quickly, so as you can imagine, Nintendo took a big issue with a company in Japan that was using the Mario Kart IP to advertise their go-karting service. This company was going by the name Maricar which was a play on Mario Kart not to mention they were using the Nintendo characters to promote the business.
After Nintendo heard about this service, they took the company to court where they had won the lawsuit. At the time, the company was forced to pay 10 million yen to Nintendo though the company decided to appeal the ruling. This turned out to be a rather poor move on their part as today we’re finding out that Nintendo won once again.
What makes things worse for the go-karting service is that the appeal case actually ended up causing the company to pay 50 million yen which is nearly $500,000 USD. This just goes to show that you should really ask permission from the IP owners before taking their content to promote a business or service.