Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Niantic, Inc. (“Niantic”), The Pokémon Company (“Pokémon Co.”), and Nintendo Co. Ltd. (“Nintendo”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Niantic, a software development company, is the developer and publisher of the Pokémon Go mobile game. Pokémon Co. is responsible for marketing and licensing the Pokémon franchise. Nintendo is the publisher of the popular Pokémon video game series and owns a 32% stake in Defendant Pokémon Co. Each of the three defendants receives a percentage of all revenues generated by the Pokémon Go mobile application.
The class action, filed in United States District Court, Northern District of California, and docketed under 16-cv-04300, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons whose use and enjoyment of their property has been affected by the Pokémon Go mobile game.
To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number.
Pokémon Go is the latest iteration of the immensely popular Pokémon media franchise, which consists in large part of a series of video games in which players take on the role of “trainers” with the goal of capturing and collecting fantasy creatures called Pokémon. Released on July 6, 2016 in the United States, Pokémon Go is an “augmented reality” game in which players use their smart phones to “catch” Pokémon in the players’ real-world surroundings by utilizing the GPS, camera, and gyroscope features on users’ mobile devices. When the game detects, via GPS, that players are in the vicinity of certain real-world locations, the GPS coordinates of which were selected and programmed into the mobile application by Niantic and known to Pokémon Go players as “Pokéstops” and “Pokémon gyms,” the players gain access to potentially vital in-game items, which they can use to catch Pokémon, among other purposes, or gain the opportunity to engage in virtual “battles” with other Pokémon Go players.
Pokémon Go was an immediate success. As of July 23, 2016, Pokémon Go had been downloaded more than 30 million times and had earned more than $35 million in revenue.
However, within days of the game’s release, it became clear that a number of the GPS coordinates that Defendants had designated as Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms were, in fact, on or directly adjacent to private property, and that Defendants had placed these Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms without the consent of the properties’ owners. The intentional, unauthorized placement of Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms on or near the property of Plaintiff and other members of the proposed class constitutes a continuing invasion of the class members’ use and enjoyment of their properties, committed by Niantic on an ongoing basis for Defendants’ profit.