A judge has sealed Nintendo’s court victory over a go-kart company that did Mario Kart-themed tours in Tokyo. Early in the year, MariCar (now called Street Kart) was ordered to pay Nintendo $50 million yen (or $483,000) for violating IP rights. The company appealed, but Japan’s Supreme Court dismissed it, upholding Nintendo’s win.
Nintendo first sued MariCar in 2017. While other companies offered similar tours, MariCar’s IP breach was particularly offensive to the big N, because it let drivers dress up as Mario Kart characters. Nintendo also did not like the name.
MariCar lost the initial judgment and was ordered to pay 10 million yen ($97,000) and then slapped “unrelated to Nintendo” signs on the cars. After an appeal, the judgment was boosted to 50 million yen.
Street Kart has been losing customers anyway due to COVID-19. A crowdfunding campaign failed after that as the karts are hated by locals. Also, Nintendo is giving fans a chance to experience the game for real on its upcoming Mario Kart AR rollercoaster which is part of Super Nintendo World, opening in the spring of 2021. So the timing of this case makes even more sense. So the case has finally now come to an end for these two parties.