Odds are many of you already own one or more Final Fantasy replica weapons - and that frightens me - but at least they are generally of the more shoddy, unlicensed sword replicas you were likely to find on the cheap via eBay or Bob's Discount Cutlery Emporium. Now Square Enix is taking steps to get those sharp, pointy objects out of the hands of fans, having filed a federal lawsuit in the Central District of California against those whole would infringe upon their intellectual property. At least four manufacturers are named in the suit, which came about after the US Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol seized a crate of counterfeit swords designed in the style of famous Final Fantasy weapons. Square Enix investigated, and while many resellers ceased their rampant reselling, the companies targeted by this lawsuit refused to cooperate, calling down spiky-haired justice upon them.
Squeenix's general counsel Yasuhiko Hasegawa offers an apology of sorts to fans who lived for this sort of crap.
While Square Enix appreciates the enthusiasm of its fans, and values its relationship with them, it is also obligated to protect its intellectual property rights or risk weakening or losing the very rights that enable the company to continue to provide its fans with an exciting entertainment experience.
Now the companies, who have not been named specifically, will have to go to court, where Square Enix lawyers will take on their lawyers in classic, turn-based RPG style.
SQUARE ENIX Files Federal Lawsuit Against Alleged Infringers of FINAL FANTASY Franchise
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ — SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD., a Tokyo-based leading digital entertainment content company (Square Enix), announced today that it had filed a federal lawsuit in the Central District of California against alleged infringers of Square Enix's intellectual property. The lawsuit names at least four wholesalers of unlicensed sword replicas and their principals, which have willfully infringed four videogames and one CG-animated film in Square Enix's FINAL FANTASY(R) franchise. Additional defendants may be added to this lawsuit. By filing this lawsuit, Square Enix is stepping up its anti-piracy enforcement with aggressive initiatives against individuals and organizations involved in the theft and unauthorized use of the company's intellectual properties. This lawsuit follows multiple confidential settlements with various retailers of similar infringing items, each of which involved the payment of a substantial financial penalty.
The current lawsuit is a result of cooperation with the United States Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol, whose agents seized a crate of counterfeit replica swords. These seized swords had been designed to replicate the unique swords featured in Square Enix's FINAL FANTASY franchise. Square Enix conducted a thorough investigation to identify the primary wholesalers and retailers of these unauthorized products in the United States. The targets of the current lawsuit have refused to cooperate with Square Enix.
"We are actively pursuing those who commit intellectual property infringement against our company," said Yasuhiko Hasegawa, Square Enix's General Counsel. "Any illegal activities, including the sale and distribution of unauthorized replica merchandise and counterfeit jewelry, and the unauthorized copying of Square Enix games, music, movies, images, and other intellectual property, will be prosecuted. While Square Enix appreciates the enthusiasm of its fans, and values its relationship with them, it is also obligated to protect its intellectual property rights or risk weakening or losing the very rights that enable the company to continue to provide its fans with an exciting entertainment experience."