The Pokémon Company File Stupid Lawsuit Against PAX Party

The Pokémon Company File Stupid Lawsuit Against PAX Party

The Pokémon Company, the business devoted entirely to managing all things Pokémon, has filed one hell of a lawsuit against the organisers of a PAX party that had been scheduled to go down last week.

As Motherboard reports, the Unofficial Poke’mon (sic) PAX Kickoff Party is in trouble for two things: the first is using Pokémon branding and character images on its promotional material, the second being that the organisers — Ramar Larkin Jones and Zach Shore — were charging for tickets.

Which, OK, they probably shouldn’t have been doing! At least so blatantly. A stern letter telling them to stop it and come up with their own party theme would probably have done the trick.

But nope. As you can see in the suit here, The Pokémon Company are going after these guys. They’re looking for statutory damages “within the higher range allowed” by law, the recovery of “attorneys’ fees and costs of suit” and “the actual damages suffered by TPCi as a result of Defendants’ infringement, and any profits of Defendants that are attributable to the infringement”, which in English means “all the money they made from previous editions of the party, which have been running since 2011”.

The Pokémon Company argue that their image has been hypothetically “damaged” by these parties, oblivious to the actual damage a punitive lawsuit like this is doing. Events like PAX are crawling with acts of “unlawful infringement” against countless characters and series. It’s called “fandom”. To single out one party and not just shut it down but go overboard in punishing its organisers just seems a total dick move.


  • I think Shakespeare said it best: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”

  • Not a Pokemon fan, but how does this make sense? It’s not like they’re producing bootleg films or characters right? It’s a party where the theme is pokemon. Surely that is beneficial for them because it keeps it in the fans minds and probably sparks more sales.

    If this keeps up they’ll be suing every comic and anime convention for the rampant cosplay violations? 0_o

      • Yeah, the making the money is the issue. If it was a free thing, they could probably have gotten away with it – still technically illegal but the sort of thing that most companies wouldn’t bother going after.

        • That’s fine on a superficial level, but how do you cover the cost of venue hire and all the other function costs? When you’re getting together with mates, you might either calculate everyone’s contribution based on what they’re planning on eating/drinking, but when it’s open to all, how do you pay for the thing?

          Is the only legal option to ask people at the door how much they’re planning on eating/drinking so they can check their contribution against the venue’s receipts? Are themed parties illegal unless there’s a sponsor? That seems even shadier – because a company or organization is paying to ride on the coat-tails of pokemon’s brand.

          Ideally, if the organizers can prove that they aren’t profiting from the tickets – only covering costs – the case should be thrown out.

          There might not actually BE a legal way for fandom celebration like this to even exist, which would make it a textbook case of something that companies who want to celebrate fandom should look the other way on.

          • Or they don’t market it as a Pokemon Kickoff Party. The flier looks to me like it’s held by Nintendo, and is an official pokemon thing. I would be fooled by that flier. And that’s the problem, they’re using the name, brand and IP of someone else to gather money, whether it’s profit or not. They could have, and should have, marketed themselves in a different way.

  • So, who is the overzealous new lawyer that is going to cop an earful at Nintendo/Pokemon Company?

  • I think this falls into the defend your IP or lose it category of the law.

    If Nintendo allow people to charge money for an event they advertise with Pokemon they run a slippery slope of others using these guys as a precedent.

    To put it in another context, if I invite my friends round to watch a movie that I just purchased that’s fine. If I advertise people can pay me $2 to see that movie at my house I’ve just crossed the line.

    On a side note Nintendo is generally cool with fans drawing, dressing up, or writing about Pokemon. It’s when they start trying to make money off that they get lawyers involved.

      • Which is like… exactly what has been happening at PAX every year. Because you can’t hire out places for nothing, they cost money.

        • Yeah, this is still a spit in the eye of fandom because it indicates that the only way to throw a themed party is to be invite-only instead of setting a price for unknown guests to contribute towards the costs incurred in throwing the party.

    • Good to see that at least one person gets it. Shame that Kotaku couldn’t find space between the whiny opinions to fit a sensible explanation.

  • sounds like another case of Nintendo being completely retarded towards their fan base. good thing this wasn’t on YouTube or they would have had an aneurysm

  • They totally deserved it. It is illegal to use IP from other company to promote your own unlicensed event, they were even charging for it.

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