The Pokémon Company International, Inc. filed suit against two Seattleites on Wednesday, claiming they broke copyright laws when they organized a themed party to mark the kickoff of the PAX Prime gaming convention.
Tickets for the sold-out event cost $2.
The so-called “5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party” was supposed to go down at 500 East restaurant and bar on Thursday night, just as gaming enthusiasts descend on Seattle to celebrate their passion all weekend long.
According to Pokémon’s complaint, the party has happened every year since 2011. This year’s edition was organized by Ramar Larkin Jones and Zach Shore.
It was going to feature, an “AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP,” “Pokemon themed shots and drinks,” “Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize,” “Dancing,” “Giveaways,” “Cosplay Contest and more.”
A poster for the event contained pictures of Pikachu and Snivy, two of Pokémon’s copyrighted characters. Pikachu’s image was also used to promote the event on Facebook.
A 500 East manager said the party has been canceled, stressing the fact that the restaurant did not organize the event. Jones and Shore could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
A Facebook post from August 11 included in the court filings suggest the event had sold more than 30 tickets.
In case you were wondering what one of these Pokémon-infringing bashes looks like, here’s a video from the 2013 edition. The crowd is singing a rendition of the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” Pokémon theme song.
Update: The Instagram user has since set this video to private.
In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington on Wednesday, Pokémon’s lawyers say they aim to “put an end to and obtain redress” for the “blatant and willful infringement.”
The company, which has a U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, is seeking damages, attorneys’ fees and an order to stop future parties. Jones and Shore are both listed as defendants, along with Ruckus Productions, a business entity they run.
When asked if the company plans to pursue the case now that the event is canceled, a Pokémon lawyer declined to comment until after he could touch base with his client.