On February 24, 2009, Square Enix settled another lawsuit. According to its press release, the lawsuit named at least four national wholesalers of unlicensed sword replicas and their principals that have infringed Square Enix’s FINAL FANTASY® franchise of videogames and CG-animated film, specifically its copyright and trademark rights in the swords.
My personal favorite quote is where the defendants issued a statement as follows: “We regret having sold unauthorized replica merchandise based on the Final Fantasy franchise to our customers. We would not have begun importing and selling these swords if we knew that Square Enix would respond so aggressively to stop us. We will never make this mistake again.”
WHAT?!?! They are actually admitting to the “I wouldn’t have done it if I knew I would have been caught” defense?!?! So it’s ok to infringe other’s intellectual property rights as long as you’re not caught? Great. Nice one. Way to fall on that sword you were selling. In any event, the consent judgment includes $600k payment to Square Enix, so yes, the infringers WILL think twice about doing this again.
In another press release dated Feb. 12, 2008, the lawsuit was noted to have been filed and was “a result of cooperation with the United States Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol, whose agents seized a crate of counterfeit replica swords.” Nice to hear our DHS guys are on the job. Keep up the good work.
(Thanks to Tim Hsieh at Greenberg Traurig for bringing this to my attention.)