The Pokémon Company is suing 6 Chinese companies over multimillion-dollar IP-violating mobile game

TPC is suing for damages totaling more than $72 million.

Image via The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company is in the process of suing six different Chinese companies for blatant copyright infringement and unfair behavior using its IP for a mobile game. 

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and a stock exchange listed last Thursday, all six companies were involved in operations surrounding the Chinese game that uses images and assets from the Pokémon anime and games since 2015. 

The game in question is currently listed as Pocket Monster Reissue, on the Apple App Store and various Android marketplaces. And after just a year on the market, the game had already pulled in over $43.4 million dollars—with roughly $4.3 million in revenue coming in monthly, according to one of the defendants, Zhongnan Heavy Industries, financial reports obtained by SCMP.

TPC is demanding damages of roughly $72.5 million, along with an official apology from all accused parties on major social media platforms, websites, and mobile app stores. This would include public platforms owned by Tencent and NetEase. 

This is something that has plagued basically any popular media franchise on mobile app stores for more than a decade, as using assets from a well-known IP like Pokémon is an easy way to at least get someone who doesn’t know better to at least click on the page or download it.

It is particularly bad in China, where many of the Pokémon games aren’t readily available due to the country’s video game censorship—including Pokémon Go, which was banned in 2017 due to “national security” concerns.