Pokemon Company Sues Over Fan Event

The Pokemon Company alleges "blatant and willful" copyright infringement regarding the use of its IP to promote a fan event.

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The Pokemon Company, the group that owns the iconic franchise, has filed a lawsuit against two fans for running a Pokemon-themed party. The event, called the "5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff," was supposed to be held Thursday evening in Seattle to mark the beginning of the weekend event.

However, The Pokemon Company's lawsuit against the party's organizers, Ramar Larkin Jones and Zach Shore, led to the cancellation of the event and potentially more problems for the pair.

An Eventbrite page for the party has been taken down, but Geekwire reports that the event was to include an "AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP," "Pokemon-themed shots and drinks," "Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize," "Dancing," "Giveaways," "Cosplay Contest, and more."

Posters for the event (see below) featured Pokemon creatures Pikachu and Snivy, while organizers used Pikachu's likeness to market the party on Facebook. In addition, this was not a free party, as tickets for the sold-out event--now in its fifth year--went for $2.

In its lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Washington, The Pokemon Company's legal team called the event a "blatant and willful infringement" of its IP, which the defendants never sought permission to use.

"Defendants' exploitation of the Pikachu and Snivy characters in promotion of the '5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party' is a direct infringement of TPCi's exclusives rights in the Pokemon Works," the company said in its complaint.

The Pokemon Company is seeking damages (more than the standard rate due to the infringement being conducted willfully, they said), attorneys' fees, and to stop the organizers from holding another similar event in the future. They are requesting that a trial by jury be held to judge this case.

We will have more on this case as it becomes available.

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