Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Seattle residents Ramar Larking Jones and Zach Shore aren't the only ones facing a lawsuit for infringing upon The Pokémon Company International's copyright.
The Cleveland-based RageOn T-Shirt company is facing its own legal trouble after TPCi declared its "PikaJew" shirt depicting the iconic Pokémon as a Hasidic Jew surrounded by money and a Jigglypuff shirt showing the pink Pokémon smoking marijuana were infringing on its copyrights.
The designs are not currently available on RageOn's website. Other removed Pokémon-themed shirts included Jigglypuff with a black marker, 'Raver Pikachu,' and Snorlax surrounded in marijuana leaves. The site also has designs featuring characters from Family Guy, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Good Burger, Rugrats, Kingdom Hearts, Kellogg cereal mascots, and more. While RageOn sells the shirts, many are organized by brand with "8-bit" focusing on video game characters, "Totally 90s" on television series, and "Technodrome1" on pop-art color versions of Nintendo, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Hanna-Barbera, Marvel, and even Breaking Bad characters.
RageOn filed court documents arguing that the shirts are parodies and “clearly socially and politically-relevant commentary” and asked for the case to be dismissed. The document filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle reads, "RageOn will not confess. It did nothing wrong.” It also claims that the TPCi is a "litigation bully," citing the case against Larking Jones and Shore, who threw an annual "Unofficial Pokémon PAX Kickoff Party" until TPCi filed against them this year.
The party hosts sold tickets for the event which would have featured, among other things, "Pokémon themed shots and drinks, Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize, Dancing, Giveaways, Cosplay Contest and more," as well as an "AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP."
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