In a lawsuit featuring Nintendo vs. Mari Mobility Development, formerly known as MariCar, the go-cart tourism company will be required to pay Nintendo a whopping 50 million yen (about $466,000 USD). This is raised from the original penalty of 10 million yen, ordered by the Tokyo District Court to be paid out in their verdict in 2017.
The 130-page interim judgement released by the Intellectual Property High Court also orders Mari Mobility Development to stop using Nintendo’s logo and remove it from any place that they’ve used it in business operations, advertisements, and go-carts, as well as change their name to something other than “MariCar”. Nintendo’s argument was that the name “MariCar” was far too close to their popular game series. MariCar also used Mario character costumes as well as footage and photos from Nintendo’s games for publicity purposes without permission.
The legal fiasco with MariCar began in September 2016 when Nintendo lodged an initial lawsuit against them over MariCar trademarking its name. The Japan Patent Office rejected the claim however, stating that “MariCar” is not a commonly used term for “Mario Cart”. Despite not being charged with anything, MariCar changed their name to their current one, “Mari Mobility Development”, presumably out of precaution.
Proceedings for the lawsuit began back in April 2017. Nintendo was asking for damages of 10,000,000 yen (about 89,000 USD). Mari Mobility Development’s defense was that the character costumes and go-karts are provided by a third-party company, and that MariCar simply takes care of maintaining the noisy carts.
MariCar provides a service that allows tourists to ride through the main streets of Tokyo in small go-karts for a fee. All you need is your international driver’s license in order to participate in their multi-city tour. They’re notorious for being loud and annoying, and a lot of locals are paranoid that a go-karting tourist will cause an accident.