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Nuisance and Unjust enrichment Class Actions: Pokémon Go…es To Court!

Hugely successful games attract lawsuits. Pokémon Go has been hugely successful and, predictably, has attracted a lawsuit.

In a recently filed class action, a plaintiff has alleged 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 legal claims asserted are nuisance and unjust enrichment. Interestingly, the complaint does not allege trespass. It is also interesting that Plaintiff alleges that “at least five individuals knocked on Plaintiff’s door, informed Plaintiff that there was a Pokémon in his backyard, and asked for access to Plaintiff’s backyard in order to “catch” the Pokémon.” The complaint is silent as to what Plaintiff told these players and, if denied permission, whether they left the property.

The complaint also lacks any specificity as to what, if any, damages Plaintiff sustained.

As AR applications continue to enjoy success, other legal issues will likely arise. It is best to do a legal review before releasing such apps.

Copyright © 2019, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


About this Author

James Mattinson Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency Lawyer Sheppard Mullin Washington DC

Jim Gatto is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. He is also Co-Team Leader of the firm's Digital Media Industry and Social Media and Games Industry Teams, Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency team, and Team Leader of the firm's Open Source Team. 

Areas of Practice

Mr. Gatto leverages his unique combination of nearly 30 years of IP experience, business insights and attention to technology trends to help companies develop IP and other legal...