Montevideo, Uruguay, July 5, 2007 - A Uruguayan Civil Court Judge recently ordered a major counterfeiter of Nintendo video game products to pay Nintendo 2.5 million U.S. dollars in damages and legal expenses. The Court determined that the offender and three of his related corporations, were responsible for the sale and distribution of tens of thousands of counterfeit Nintendo products.
In 2001, the National Board of Intelligence raided four retail shops and a warehouse, seizing seven truck loads of counterfeit Nintendo video game products in Montevideo. Approximately 30,000 counterfeit Nintendo products were confiscated and valued at over one million US dollars. The seizure was reportedly the largest carried out in Uruguay of counterfeit video game products. A principal owner was identified for both the retail shops and the warehouse. Following the seizure, the owner was criminally charged with trademark counterfeiting. Curiously, the criminal trial ended in 2003 with the granting of an unexplained executive pardon or "gracia".
In addition to the criminal charges, Nintendo filed a civil action against the owner and his businesses, claiming he was selling and distributing counterfeit Nintendo products on a large scale, obtaining sizeable profits, and damaging Nintendo's reputation. After years of litigation, Nintendo applauds the Court's decision as it serves as an extraordinary example of justice against intellectual property crimes. Nintendo is pleased that this major counterfeiter will finally have to pay for his illegal activities.
This action exemplifies Nintendo's commitment to combat the international problem of product piracy," says Jodi Daugherty, senior director, anti-piracy, Nintendo of America. "These types of illegal operations simply will not be tolerated and Nintendo will do everything in its power to protect its business and its customers."
The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.4 billion video games and more than 409 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario, Donkey Kong®, Metroid®, Zelda and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com