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The Pokémon Company sues Six Chinese mobile gaming companies for copyright infringement

Rip-off from Pokémon franchises makes profits in millions in China!

The Pokémon Company is a Japanese company responsible for the marketing, licensing, production, and brand management of the Pokémon franchise. This means they look over video games, television series, films, mangas, and everything Pokémon-related. The Pokémon Company is partly owned by Nintendo Co, and according to the South China Morning Post, they are now suing six other Chinese companies for copyright infringement. And also, for a mobile game that is accused of having very noticeable similarities to the Pokémon franchise.

The game in question is called Poket Master Reissue and is available to install on iPhone devices and several Android app stores in Mainland China. Some of them are run by Huawei Technologies Co, Tencent Holdings, and Xioami.

The six companies which have been sued have been working on this game since 2015, according to a stock exchange filing on Thursday by Shenzen – listed Jiangyin Zhongnan Heavy Industries Co, which is one of the defendants. An order has been filed by The Pokémon Company to the Shenzen Intermediate People’s Court to stop the development, distribution, operation, and promotion of the game by the accused parties as soon as possible.

The Pokémon Company suing for copyright infringement
Image via SCMP

They are also claiming 500 million yuan which roughly equals $72.5 million worth in damages along with demanding the sued companies issue public apologies agreeing to their mistakes on popular Chinese websites and social media platforms such as Tencent.com, NetEase.com, and so on.

The makers of Pocket Monster Reissue have been enjoying huge profits 

Pocket Monster Reissue was released in 2015. A year after its release, it generated more than 300 million yuan of total turnover, with the monthly turnover exceeding 30 million yuan. In 2021, Zhongnan Heavy Industries who are the makers of the game in question had an increase of over 24.5 percent in their year-on-year revenue.

It rose to 481.6 million yuan while the net income of the company increased by 58 percent to 207.2 million yuan. These stats have been confirmed by Zhongnan Heavy Industries’ yearly financial reports.

The popular game belonging to The Pokémon Company called Pokémon Go was banned from China in 2017 as it received various criticisms stating that it hampered national security and the safety of the people’s lives and property. This is one of the reasons for the success of Pocket Monster Reissue which has similarities with Pokémon games as the original ones get banned in the country.

Copyright infringement has been one of the major concerns in the Chinese gaming industry along with video game piracy also happening in huge numbers in the country. From 2019 to 2021, over 40 domestic game developers from China suffered a loss of over 180 million yuan because of the following issues.

The Pokémon Company suing for copyright infringement
Image via Alibaba

Due to this almost 100 game developers from the country have issued a joint deceleration about copyright infringement issued to the authorities to upgrade the security and integrity of online shopping platforms such as Alibaba Group Holding’s Taobao, where some sellers have been illegally selling games as these sales are unauthorized.

What are your thoughts about The Pokémon Company suing Chinese mobile gaming companies for copyright infringement? Let us know in the comment section below!

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