Palworld and PokeZoo are both games that draw comparisons to the popular monster-collecting franchise Pokémon.
Palworld is a recently released open-world survival game with monster-taming elements.
PokeZoo, on the other hand, is a recently launched trading card game.
However, it is facing a legal controversy due to its striking similarities to Pokémon.
Continue reading to learn more about the controversy on Pokezoo and Palworld.
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Controversy on Pokezoo and Palworld
Pokezoo and Palworld are two games people accuse of copying Pokémon, a popular franchise owned by Nintendo.
Some fans notice that some of the creatures in these games are called Pals and Zoos.
They look very similar to Pokémon, such as Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur.
They also criticize the games for imitating Pokémon’s art style and gameplay mechanics.
Both games are facing legal challenges from the Pokémon Company.
This has sued Zooland and Tencent, the developers of Pokezoo and Palworld, for infringing its intellectual property rights.
Nintendo’s Legal Action
On January 11, 2024, Nintendo of America filed an opposition against the trademark registration of the term Pokezoo.
The opposition stated that Pokezoo would likely cause confusion, mistakes, or deception among consumers.
They might think that Nintendo or the Pokémon Company authorized, sponsored, or endorsed Pokezoo.
Further, they might think they had some affiliation or connection with it.
However, the opposition claims that Pokezoo would likely dilute the distinctiveness and reputation of Nintendo’s Pokémon trademarks.
Various media and products have been using these trademarks for over 25 years.
Nintendo seeks to prevent Zooland and Tencent from using Pokezoo or any other mark confusingly similar to Pokémon.
Nintendo also wants to cancel the trademark registration of Pokezoo and asks for damages and attorney fees.
Additionally, it asks for any other relief that the court may deem appropriate.
The case is pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
A Fan-Made Mod Replaced The Pals With Pokémon
On January 22, 2024, an unknown modder created a fan-made mod for Palworld.
Further, he shared by a YouTuber named ToastedShoes.
The mod replaces the Pals with actual Pokémon, such as Pikachu, Torchic, and Wooloo.
It also changed the player character to Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the Pokémon anime series.
Further, some non-player characters and boss fights feature characters from the Pokémon franchise, such as Misty, Brock, and Jessie.
Nintendo Took Down The Mod
On January 23, 2024, Nintendo took down the mod, claiming it violated its trademarks and copyrights.
Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown notice to ToastedShoes, a legal request to remove the mod from the internet.
Nintendo states that the Pokémon Company endorsed or affiliated with the mod or had some connection or affiliation with it.
Further, the mod is causing confusion or deception among consumers.