Nintendo Wins Injunction Against Switch Mod & Pirate Game Seller

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In 2018, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against a California man it accused of selling pirated Nintendo games, modding devices and modding services. As part of a stipulated judgment, a California court has now handed down a permanent injunction restraining the man from circumventing Nintendo’s technical measures or offering any unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s copyright works.

In January 2018, hacking group Team-Xecuter announced a Nintendo Switch hack that presented the opportunity for people to run pirated games on the console.

This type of exploit is nothing new for hardware manufacturers like Nintendo but given its aggressive stance towards its intellectual property rights, the company wasn’t likely to sit back and watch the development and distribution that followed.

Indeed, during December 2018, Nintendo took legal action against a California resident alleged to have sold Nintendo Switch mod devices produced by Team-Xecuter, memory cards containing pirated copies of Nintendo titles, plus a modified version of the NES Classic accompanied by 800 pirated games.

The main defendant in the case, initially identified as ‘Mikel Euskaldunak’ by Nintendo, was later named as Sergio Mojarro Moreno. In September 2019 there were signs that the parties had agreed to settle the case and on December 30, 2019, that agreement was detailed by a California court.

Stating that Nintendo is a world-famous video gaming brand whose status is underpinned by substantial investment in intellectual property, the consent judgment and injunction begins with the main defendant (Does 1-10 were dismissed) agreeing that Nintendo’s copyrights and trademarks are “valid and enforceable in all respects” while acknowledging that the company’s technical protection measures are “valid”.

The judgment then goes on to restrain the defendant and anyone acting in concert with him from circumventing, offering services, and/or offering technologies, devices or components that circumvent Nintendo’s technical protection measures.

Moreno is also restrained from selling, renting, offering or distributing unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s copyrighted works, infringing its trademarks, or using the Internet “or any digital network” to provide services to the public that enable copyright infringement of Nintendo’s works.

The consent judgment requires the defendant to refrain from several types of additional conduct such as challenging the validity or enforceability of any Nintendo intellectual property right or technological protection method “in any forum in the future”, hacking, modifying or circumventing Nintendo’s technical measures, or reverse engineering any computer program or software developed by Nintendo or its affiliates.

The defendant is further required to provide written certification to Nintendo that no circumvention software or devices, including but not limited to SX Pro or Trinket M0 chips, and/or illegal copies of games were in his or his agents’ possession at the date of the stipulated judgment and injunction or, if they were, have been destroyed.

Entering judgment in favor of Nintendo on each and every claim for relief in its amended complaint, the court ordered the parties to bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees while standing by to enforce the terms of the order in the event of any further dispute.

Obtained by TorrentFreak, the stipulated judgment and permanent injunction can be viewed here (pdf)


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

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