Pokemon Go Target of Class Action Lawsuit

Pokemon Go

Gotta sue them all: Nintendo, the Pokemon Company and San Francisco-based augmented reality startup and Pokemon Go maker Niantic Labs are on the receiving end of a new lawsuit, which claims that the game entices players to trespass on other people’s property. Niantic Labs responded by warning its players to obey the law while hunting for Pokemons.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jeffrey Marder, a New Jersey resident who had a number of unwanted encounters with Pokemon Go Players. “During the week of Pokémon Go ’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand,” the lawsuit states. “At least five individuals knocked on Plaintiff’s door and asked for access to Plaintiff’s backyard in order to ‘catch’ Pokémon that the game had placed at Plaintiff’s residence.”

Pokemon Go overlays virtual objects over the physical world, including so-called Pokestops and Pokemon gyms, which can attract players looking to catch new Pokemon or battle previously caught monsters. Some of this has led to welcome effects for local businesses and public parks, with GameStop even reporting significantly higher revenues at stores that are near a Pokestop.

However, the lawsuit is claiming that Marder’s situation is far from unique. Citing articles about other privacy intrusions, it is seeking class action status, while also asking for compensation and a change to the game’s practices.

Niantic Labs hasn’t officially responded to the lawsuit, but the company seems to be fully aware of the situation. As part of an update to the game released this weekend, it is now warning players to use common sense and obey all laws. Some of the warnings are about staying safe in traffic, but one also specifically advises players not to trespass.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 40

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Dan says:

    Niantech is not being proactive enough to deal with the pokestop placement, and lawyers are the only way they will listen. This is not a money grab I assure you. Lawsuits are too much of a hassle unless there are real damages to cover.

    For every 100 respectful pokémon players there is statistically 1 asshat and that’s all it takes.

  2. Joy says:

    Well they didn’t knock on my door. When a group of 12-14 yr. old boys discovered my backyard fence locked they kick in my garage door in anger.

  3. Bill Smite says:

    I am sick of all the scum bags who are now roaming our neighborhood because of this idiotic game.I will join any lawsuit to sue the crap out of NIANTIC and NINTENDO for this!!It is an invasion of privacy and I hope to see those two companies lose alot of money over this!

  4. Darrell says:

    They took the data from there other game Ingress to determine pokey stops and gyms. These locations are portals in Ingress. Most of these locations were submitted by players. Niantic never got permission to put them where they did. They are located in people’s yards and also at restricted military bases. Even when brought to niantic’s attention about them not being publicly accessible they refused to remove them.

    • Roger says:

      There is literally a section on their support site regarding removal of pokestops on your property. They haven’t refused to remove anything.

      • don says:

        You’re crazy if you think that it’s the responsibility of other people to keep a nuisance out of their property especially when they don’t even play or give a crap about pokemon. The arrogance is unbelievable.

  5. Ryan says:

    It is the developers responsibility to to augment and fix the game. And let’s be honest they had to know this was coming. Common sense people The same as if a car company knowingly released a car with problems. Pokemon go will have to do a recall and remove them from restricted areas and peoples yards. Otherwise they will have more lawsuits to contend with.

    • Joe says:

      They don’t have to do anything. The only way to know if a Pokémon is in someone’s yard is to go onto that persons property first. Pokémongo does not give coordinates or exact locations for that purpose, and even when you do reveal a Pokémon you can catch them from a significant distance. Their is never a reason to step on to another person’s property while playing the game. The people that do trespass are doing so without any encouragement from the company.

  6. Stan Rends says:

    So these idiots are blaming the company for the actions of players they have zero control over what they physically do? Not Niantic’s fault people are stupid.

    • Zero says:

      Who to blame…who to blame…can’t blame the actual individuals that are trespassing…cops won’t show up in time to arrest them since it’s not on their priority list…who to blame…

  7. Jason says:

    Sir, are you also planning on suing the jehovah witness that came and knocked on your door the other day? Are you going to sue God for enticing people to come to your front door and bother you? How about the Girl Scouts of America? Are their cookie sales also infringing upon your rights?

  8. Jayden says:

    Dumb asses. Charge admission, end trespassing, make money from the pokemon go players. End of story. Next thing you know they’ll say call of duty and overwatch makes everyone shoot each other and that’ll be the next class action law suit.

  9. topphiveblog says:

    If you trespass while playing a game, that isn’t really that serious (I can be at my house and catch pokemon across the street almost 50-100 feet away). If you trespass, that’s on you. And if the people knocked on your door and asked for permission, that’s not trespassing. Trespassing by definition, is going onto a property without permission, if you gave them permission, it’s not trespassing.

  10. I’m pretty sure the app tells you not to trespass and it also tells you to mind your surroundings. why would people who never use common sense sue a company that plasters ‘use common sense’ when you boot the game or when its loading? that is like me suing burger king because the sandwich i ordered was too fatty or me suing red bull because it did not give me ‘wings’. jeez, people will sue anyone for just about anything, if someone so much as glance at them they the file a class action lawsuit just because they got looked at. the retardation level in people is over 9000 and i will not apologize for that.

  11. sundale2 says:

    I’d like to offer this for people to ponder;

    How would you like multiple strangers on your lawn, knocking on your door, pointing their camera into your yard (back or front) several times a day? Is the mega-lawsuit a bit much? Perhaps. But I’d be pretty upset too if the game was drawing players to my property. My home is where I go to rest and be at ease. I shouldn’t need a sign of any kind to maintain that. And yes, in front of the house does count. Again, when you have 15-30 people standing out there every day for hours on end, it can get unnerving and/or wearing after a few weeks of it. Just because it doesn’t bother you does not mean it won’t bother others. Some people fear clowns. Should they suck it up because you don’t? In the same way, a home owner should not be forced to be uncomfortable just because others don’t mind.

    • Zach says:

      Fair points. But it is still the persons fault. Not the game. Common courtesy suggests asking someone for permission first or just not going where you don’t belong. Games like this don’t create more idiots…they just make them easier to spot.

      • Stan Rends says:

        If they are not on your private property you do not have much say guy. PUBLIC PROPERTY is public.

  12. Jason Williams says:

    I hope he loses He can have the people arrested for tresspassing but he can not force them to change the game or sue them for damages that never happened. I hope he loses. All he have to do is Put a sign on his door saying NO TRESSPASSING, Add this includes Pokemon Go Players I hope the Judge throw the suit out.

  13. Andrew says:

    How stupid. You don’t even need to trespass to catch that Pokémon: if you can see it your screen, you can catch it. Well, unless you’re using a cheating app, but that’s not Niantic’s problem.

  14. GrammarNazi: Who are you kidding? You don’t want to steal anything not vandalize anything. Your out there to find Pokémon and that is all.

    • Niandick says:

      So nobody who plays pokemon go also intends to commit burglary? And nobody who intends to commit burglary would ever be capable of also playing pokemon go? Have you also glazed over the whole concept of an increased presence allowing for a distraction from the criminals in the midst? An individual who is busy asking people to mind the trespassing laws is too distracted to secure his home or belongings from opportunistic crime. The guy has a legitimate point and at minimum Niantic should have an open channel for receiving requests to remove any digital content on private property. If they fail to provide that it’s likely that this case can end up with a great number of Cease and Desist orders being filed. It sure would be fun to see Niantic and Pokemon get a taste of their own bull.

  15. Virgil Gill says:

    I was waiting for the lawsuits over this stupid game.

  16. JuanCarlos Esparza says:

    oh wow Niantic not responding, what a f*king surprise

    • Kris says:

      I know, right? They don’t even talk to their own customer base that supports the company, let alone people who want their money! lol

  17. Some idiot looking for his 5 minutes of fame!

  18. Goom says:

    Why can’t he just respond like a good, honest God-fearing American and go running outside with his shotgun yelling at these damn kids to get off his lawn? People these days, this isn’t the ‘merica I grew up in…..

  19. Wahwah says:

    Compensation for??

  20. johann7 says:

    “‘During the week of Pokémon Go ’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand,’ the lawsuit states. ‘At least five individuals knocked on Plaintiff’s door and asked for access to Plaintiff’s backyard in order to ‘catch’ Pokémon that the game had placed at Plaintiff’s residence.'”

    So… people were hanging around in public spaces and asked permission to enter Marder’s property, not trespassing. That merits a lawsuit?

  21. Compliance says:

    So the guy is filing a law suit because people are outside and some of them knocked on his door. Wow, he just wants a quick payout.

    • sundale2 says:

      How would you like it strangers kept knocking on your door? While I admit the lawsuit may be asking a bit much, something more does need to be done so that people can still live their lives in peace.

      • DSmith says:

        How would you like it if someone crashed their Jeep into your house? Would you go and sue Jeep for building the car? I mean, something obviously needs to be changed. Let’s have auto makers put an end to production!

        But seriously, just because Niantic provides the service does not mean they should be held accountable for what people do with it.

      • Brent says:

        I believe he thinks he found and easy lawsuit and went for it and I don’t believe him. 1. If you can see there is a Pokemon in his back yard, all you have to do is tap it on the screen, no need for them to go in his yard. 2. A feature of the game does tell you a Pokemon is nearby, but does not tell you where or in what direction.

  22. Lyrical says:

    You can’t really expect a game company to be held accountable for the stupidity of some of it’s players, right? I mean, its not the first time people did something dumb from a game.

  23. Artiewhitfox says:

    People need to be good to the players, They don’t want to harm anyone. They don’t want to steal anything. They are just searching for Pokémon.

    • Matt says:

      It’s nice that you think well of all people, but some will obviously use this to steel and vandalize.

      • Damoncord says:

        I really want a Steelix.

      • I know the mentality of the players. They respect the things of others. People need tom fear God rather than man Once to live and they the judgment. It is better to see God as light rather than fire. They that are dishonest and steal will end up in a prison that NDE people think is Hell. It is Satan’s prison. It is a tortious holding pen for final judgment. They are raised at the second resurrection to have one last vain battle aginst God. God’s light turns them into the lake of fire to become ashes under the feet of the righteous. It is better for people to be like Jesus than not be like Jesus.

      • Anon Ymous says:

        Some of them would just as soon iron maybe even titanium rather than burgle…

      • GrammarNazi says:

        Oh man, I sure wish I could steel something. How cool would that be? I guess I’ll just have to go with regular old stealing instead.

More Digital News from Variety