The Pokemon Company has sued a self-proclaimed “huge Pokemon fan” who organized a themed party inspired by Nintendo’s popular franchise. The Pokemon Company now demands a $4,000 settlement to cover its attorney’s fees before it will dismiss the case.
The demand for settlement persists despite the fact that party organizer Larkin Jones cancelled the event after he was notified of the lawsuit. Rather than dropping the suit as expected, The Pokemon Company instead demanded a sizable settlement within a short timeframe.
Jones regularly hosts an annual Pokemon-themed “kickoff party” in the days leading up to PAX Prime, a convention that draws thousands of attendees every year in Seattle. The fifth annual event, scheduled for August 27th, was abruptly canceled after Jones received a complaint from The Pokemon Company.
The suit claims that Jones used Pokemon characters in digital flyers and Facebook posts advertising the event, an act that “willfully and deliberately infring[es] The Pokemon Company’s copyrights.”
Jones charges $2 for entry to the event, to cover the costs of contest and tournament prizes. He claims that the party is a money-losing venture, and that the estimated $500 he earned from ticket sales for this year’s event only partially covered his setup costs.
Jones notes that the complaint arrived without a cease-and-desist or prior warning. “I thought it was a scare tactic,” Jones said in a recent interview with GeekWire. “I thought once the party was canceled there would be nothing more about this.”
Even after canceling the event and refunding ticket sales, The Pokemon Company continued to pursue legal action. The company then denied Jones’ request for a settlement extension, leading him to set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover costs he otherwise would not be able to deliver within the demanded timeframe. The campaign met its funding goal shortly after its launch.
“I work in a cafe and I literally don’t have $4000,” Jones stated. “I wish they would have just sent a cease and desist because I had no problem dropping the party but I just don’t have $4000 to pay in the next 45 days.”
Jones added: “I just want it to be over with and not have it escalate further because I couldn’t pay 4k in 45 days. Trust me I will never throw another fandom party again.”