The collectible NFT blockchain game, PokeWorld, is being sued by The Pokemon Company International for trademark infringement.
The NFT game is made by Australian-based creators under “Pokemon PTY LTD” and Kotiota Studios”. The legal documents, filed in December 2022, cite multiple breaches of legislation over the launch and advertisement of the PokeWorld NFT game.
According to reports, Kotiota Studios had been advertising the game for several months, claiming it was an official “play to earn” game featuring Pokemon that players could collect as digital pets.
The company showed off digital 3D models and 2D art of Pokemon, including Pikachu. It claimed to have worked on other Pokemon titles in the past, including Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and Pokemon Sleep. However, Pokemon Company International denies these claims and has stated that Kotiota was never a contractor for the company.
The court documents seek to stop Pokemon PTY Ltd and Kotiota Studios from representing themselves as licensed to develop official Pokemon games and to shut down the PokeWorld website and all sales of NFTs. The filing also comes as The Pokemon Company International has deliberately decided not to launch any Pokemon NFTs to protect the brand.
The Pokemon Company Int’l
It appears that The Pokemon Company International became aware of the PokeWorld game when Pokemon PTY Ltd began reaching out to media with plans to launch the NFT game in January 2023. Given the lack of official Nintendo support, this raised red flags and led to the filing of the legal documents.
As of now, the PokeWorld website remains online, although the company’s Twitter page has been suspended. It remains to be seen how The Pokemon Company International will proceed with the case, but it is likely that the website will be shut down in the near future.
Pokemon is a massive Japanese media franchise that’s managed by The Pokemon Company. Centered around fictional creatures called Pokemon, its creative setting led to numerous TV shows, video games, and various merchandise like trading card games and toys.
As we all know, Pokemon is a massive franchise, capable of generations of billions if they decided to step into the world of crypto. This had led to numerous Pokemon-inspired titles such as Axie Infinity, Pixelmon, and CryptoKitties. The success of these titles has been palpable within the industry, with Axie Infinity being the most revenue-generating out of all of them.
However, it is important for developers to ensure that they are properly licensed and authorized to use intellectual property in their projects. The Pokemon Company International’s decision to take legal action against the creators of PokeWorld serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting the rights of intellectual property holders.
While the success of games like Axie Infinity, Pixelmon, and CryptoKitties shows the potential for success in the NFT space, it is important for developers to operate within the bounds of the law in order to avoid legal issues and protect the integrity of their projects.
Edmond is a passionate writer for Video games, GameFi and Web3. He has worked for top GameFi companies and video game/crypto news websites.