It's not only in the video gaming arena that Pokemon is winning — even inside the courtroom. Bizarrely, however, the franchise only received a minimal amount that is not even enough to buy a single Pokemon merchandise.
According to a report from The Daily Mail, the Federal Court of Austrailia has awarded $1 to The Pokemon Company, after the latter won a copyright infringement lawsuit it filed against the retail website, Redbubble. The court ruled that the Melbourne-based website should pay the $1 amount in damages for selling t-shirts bearing depictions of the Pokemon franchise's most iconic character, Pikachu.
The Pokemon Company sued the online retail company for $40,000 after seeing the latter sell clothes and other merchandise with artistic renditions of Pikachu in 2016. Though the court ruled in favor of The Pokemon Company, it did not agree with the amount in damages the company was asking. Justice Pagone, who was hearing the case, noted that the designs were sold outside the official Pokemon universe and would not translate into royalties, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
"Many of the items sold through the Redbubble website involved a 'mash up' of images, such as the combination of Pikachu and Homer Simpson," explained the judge. "The evidence thus did not support a confident finding of damages in the amount claimed," the judge added.
Moreover, the judge also said that the business model of Redbubble that allows various artists to come up with their own renditions and interpretations of any type of design "carried the inherent risk of infringement of copyright."
"There may have been a sound commercial basis for Redbubble to manage the risks of infringement as it did, but in doing so it authorised the infringements which occurred," added Justice Pagone. Despite this, the court saw that Redbubble's conduct did not equate to a flagrant disregarding of The Pokemon Company's rights.
Redbubble, on their part, said that they have always respected the rights of entities like The Pokemon Company. Company CEO Martin Hosking stressed that they will "continue to work with them in the fight against infringement and piracy across the internet."