The Pokémon Company takes Aussie crypto company to court over Pokémon NFT game
Documents lodged with the Federal Court of Australia have revealed that The Pokémon Company International is taking Pokémon Pty Ltd to court over advertising a new NFT based Pokémon mobile game. No Pokémon are not taking themselves to court, but Pokémon Pty Ltd is instead an Australian company that set up and advertised a website claiming to be launching a crypto game called PokéWorld, under the name Kotiota Studios.
Not only that, they have claimed to have worked on other Pokémon games, including Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon Home and even the unreleased Pokémon Sleep. The Pokémon Company International points out in the legal documents that they are not a contractor for them.
The website for the game PokeWorld is still available (which we won’t link to). The Pokémon Company International has asked the court to seek a resolution to stop Pokémon Pty Ltd from using their trademarks on the website, and social media, to not launch the game or sell any NFTs using their IP.
The counsel for TPCi also specifically pointed out that “TPCi, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo had made a deliberate decision not to launch any Pokémon NFTs”.
The PokeWorld Website advertises a new game “brought to you by The Pokémon Company International and Kotiota“. I understand that Kotiota Studios (Kotiota) is an entity related to the respondents in their business endeavour the subject of these proceedings. On that website, there is a section titled “2022-2023 ROADMAP” which appears to outline the timeline for the launch of PokeWorld and release of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) related to Pokémon characters. A review of that webpage indicates that the PokeWorld game will launch in January 2023.
The Kotiota Studios team were even so bold as to reach out to media websites to try and drum up interest in their game and this is how TPCi were tipped off. The first application to the court was just on December 19th 2022, with the first hearing happening on December 21st 2022. The legal counsel for The Pokémon Company International appeared. However, no one from Kotiota Studios did.
There’s not much for them to do, clearly, The Pokémon Company International owns the rights to Pokémon, and the other company does not. At this stage, Pokémon Pty Ltd needs to stop everything they’re doing, including advertising the game. The court says that TPCi has a strong case and wants more information before costs or damages can be brought up. If they don’t respond, then further legal action can be taken.
We’ll keep you updated.