Nintendo forces ROM site owners to pay $12.2 million for trademark infringement

Nintendo forces ROM site owners to pay $12.2 million for trademark infringement

Nintendo forces ROM site owners to pay $12.2 million for trademark infringement

Arizona couple, Jacob and Cristian Mathias, the owners of both LoveROMS and LoveRETRO, have agreed to pay a sum of $12.23 million to Nintendo in damages, admitting to charges of copyright and trademark infringement for operating both websites. 

Earlier this year, Nintendo filed a lawsuit which asked for statutory damages of $150,000 for each Nintendo game on their websites and $2 million for each trademark infringement. Being unwilling to take part in an extended legal battle against the gaming giant, the couple has decided to settle the matter with Nintendo, forcing them to pay $12.23 million to the company while also complying with several other demands. At this time the judgement has not been signed off by a judge, though both parties have agreed to the settlement. 

Both loveROMS and LoveRETRO were taken offline, causing a domino effect with several other ROM sites, all of which feared incurring the wrath of Nintendo. Both websites are to be signed off to Nintendo, and all of the couples copies of Nintendo games, hardware and emulators need to be handed over to Nintendo at their own expense. The couple will also agree to a permanent injunction, which will prevent the couple from infringing on Nintendo’s copyrights in the future. 

It is worth noting that the couple will likely not need to pay the full $12.23 million settlement, with the number acting as a deterrent for the operators of other ROM sites. 

If you head over to LoveROMS, you will now be greeted with the following message. 

  

     Our website, LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co, previously offered and performed unauthorized copies of Nintendo games, in violation of Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks. LoveROMS.com/LoveRetro.co acknowledges that it caused harm to Nintendo, its partners, and customers by offering infringing copies of Nintendo games and has agreed to cease all such activities. To access legitimate Nintendo games online, please visit www.nintendo.com for information about the Nintendo Game Store.

Nintendo forces ROM site owners to pay $12.2 million for trademark infringement

(Nintendo has made a lot of money from emulators and ROMs)

   

In recent history, Nintendo has made a lot of money reworking or emulating their classic games library, both though Classic Mini consoles like the NES and SNES Classics and through their Virtual Console programs for their Wii, Wii U and 3DS consoles. Some of the emulated games for these programs were found to be identical to online ROMs, making it appear as if Nintendo used online ROM sites to as sources for their official emulators.

So far, Nintendo has not released a Virtual Console for their Switch console, though the same hardware, as used in the Nvidia Shield TV, has already been used to emulate Nintendo Wii and Gamecube classics in the Chinese market officially.

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