Nintendo, after winning in a case in the UK High Courts regarding Switch hacks, is far from done reviewing their legal options. The company filed yet another lawsuit yesterday against well-known ROM site, RomUniverse. The site allows users to download games from a host of gaming consoles with a heavy emphasis on Nintendo IPs. The lawsuit, which you can view here courtesy of Scribd, names Matthew Storman and “persons of unknown identity” as the defendants in the case.
The lawsuit claims that RomUniverse is “built largely on brazen and mass scale infringement of Nintendo’s intellectual property rights,” and charges the defendants with copyright infringement, federal trademark infringement, and unfair competition. “According to the Website [RomUniverse], as of the date of filing this Complaint, hundreds of thousands of copies of Nintendo games have been illegally downloaded through the Website including nearly 300,000 downloads of copies of pirated Nintendo Switch games and more than 500,000 copies of pirated Nintendo 3DS games,” reads the lawsuit.
Last year, Nintendo successfully sued similar ROM sites LoveROMS and LoveRETRO, which the company references in the lawsuit as well. “In 2018, around the time that Nintendo successfully enforced its intellectual property rights against other infringing ROM websites, defendant Storman bragged that his Website would continue to offer Nintendo ROMs. After the removal of the other infringing ROM websites, internet traffic to the Website [RomUniverse] increased.” Obviously, Nintendo does not take copyright infringement lightly and bragging about not getting sued and taken down will more than likely not help Storman’s case. To top it all off, RomUniverse had charged users “Premium Memberships for $30 per year to get access to unlimited downloads and download speeds with no advertisements,” after their free download limit had been reached.
Should Nintendo win the lawsuit against RomUniverse and Storman, the company seeks damages for each copyrighted work and each Nintendo trademark infringed upon. According to the suit, “An award of statutory damages as allowed by law, in an amount up to $150,000 for the infringement of each NOA copyrighted work and up to $2,000,000 for the infringement of each NOA trademark through use of counterfeit marks.” Aside from this, Nintendo also seeks damages in the way of their legal fees, as well as for RomUniverse to cease and desist all illegal activities involving their trademarks and copyrights.