Man ordered to pay damages for selling counterfeit Pokémon products online
E200404Y2 | May. 2020（E246）
Nintendo Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Nintendo”) creates and develops the augmented reality (AR) mobile game, Pokémon Go and thus creates tremendous business opportunities. Targeting such immense business opportunity, a Taiwanese individual, surnamed Zhou, sold fake Pokémon bracelets online until the fake products were sighted in the police Internet patrol in 2018. Nintendo purchased one fake bracelet from Zhou as evidence and filed a complaint for seeking damages. This case was then brought to the IP Court, which ruled in a judgment that Zhou shall pay TWD330,000 to Nintendo as damages and the judgment has become final.
In view of the 377 pieces of counterfeit Pokémon products that have been sold by defendant Zhou, Nintendo claimed that it is reasonable to calculate the claimable damages by having the unit retail price of the counterfeit bracelet multiplied by a multiplier of 377 in consideration of the value of the infringed trademark involved in this case, the large number of the counterfeit products held and sold by Zhou, the clear facts and evidence of Zhou’s offense, and Zhou’s post-offense attitude of unrepentant insistence on no settlement of this case. The counterfeit Pokémon products infringe upon six registered trademarks and the claimable damages should be TWD1,244,100.
Defendant Zhou requested the judge to dismiss Nintendo’s complaint by alleging that he did not know the products he sold were counterfeit and that the pendants priced at TWD30 each as giveaways, in addition to the 200 pieces of Pokémon bracelets priced at TWD550 each, should not be included for damages calculation.
The IP Court held Zhou liable for the damages claimed and the awarded damages is TWD330,000, which is calculated by the unit retail price of the infringing products multiplied by a multiplier of 600 on account of the facts that a total of 300 pieces, out of the 307 pieces of counterfeit Pokémon products seized from Zhou, were sold at the price of TWD550 each during a six-month period, that Zhou has infringed upon 4 registered trademarks, that Zhou had resolutely denied the offense alleged against him, and also that Zhou failed to reach a settlement with Nitendo. (April 2020)