MariCar offers modified go-karts for rent which are capable of running on public roads. Their services are particularly popular with foreign tourists.
The Japan Patent office has dismissed an objection filed by Nintendo in relation to its trade mark concerns with regards its MariCars tours and go-kart services. Nintendo requested a revocation of MariCar’s trade mark due to the fact it sounded too similar to its world popular Mario Kart franchise, it was alleged that MariCar was “intended to be mistaken for or confused with its game”.
Nintendo had alleged that MariCar was widely perceived by the public as an abbreviation for ‘Mario Kart’, it gave other examples of popular video games that are better known in their abbreviated form, the examples cited were “Pokemon” short for “Pocket Monsters”, “Pazudora” short for “Puzzle Dragons” and “Sumabura” short for “Super Smash Bros”.
However, the governing officer has disagreed and has ruled against Nintendo, stating that MariCar is not widely recognised as an abbreviation of its popular video game ‘Mario Kart’. It added that it is an associated trade mark.