Pokémon GO Class Action
A man from New Jersey is bringing a class action against Nintendo, Niantic Inc. and The Pokémon Company as he is claiming that the presence of Pokémon in his back garden is proving to be a nuisance and he feels that Nintendo and its related companies should be held accountable for this.
Jeffrey Marder (the plaintiff) claims that the Pokémon GO mobile phone app has brought a deluge of strangers to his backyard, asking him to play the game on his property. Playing the Pokemon Go game requires a player to wander around the real world seeking physical locations where the app will tell them when fantasy Pokemon creatures are lurking in a particular area. A Pokémon character can be ‘captured’ when a player reaches a particular location and the player then swipes its image across their phone screen.
From its release date of 6th July 2016, the game has been downloaded more than 30 million times and has generated over $35 million in revenue.
Mr Marder argues that some of the revenue generated should be owed to those, similar to himself who are living with the alleged nuisance of strangers seeking out Pokémon on private properties.
He noted that during the first week of release, that at least 5 strangers knocked on his door asking permission to catch Pokémon in his back garden.
The plaintiff further notes that three Pokestops were found inside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Niantic is already another Pokémon GO lawsuit over the issue of user privacy. In this case the plaintiff says that the terms of service of the game claim extremely broad rights to collect user data, but are doing so without giving those users sufficient notice of what rights they are giving up. This plaintiff is seeking a court order that would forbid the defendants from continuing to use his and other class action members properties for the purposes of the game, along with an award of damages and disgorgement of profits, plus pre and post judgement interest fees, legal costs and attorney fees.