Pokemon Go Gets Two Big Legal Wins

by Christian Hoffer


In addition to being a worldwide phenomenon last summer, Pokemon Go also opened the door for a lot of thorny legal cases. From questions about whether Pokemon Go's Poke Stops and gyms constituted as virtual trespassing to cities and countries threatening bans unless certain areas were removed from the game, it seems like Pokemon Go's lawyers have gone to court every month to defend the game.However, the game won two big victories this week in different parts of the United States.

Illinois's legislature declined to move forward with a proposed law that would force Niantic to remove sites deemed ecologically sensitive, historically important, or on private property. The law was first proposed when a Chicago lawmaker heard complaints that Pokemon Go players were congregating on the ecologically sensitive Loyola Bluffs near Lake Michigan, causing alleged harm to the restored dunes. Niantic eventually removed Loyola from the game, but not before the law had already been proposed and written as a draft.

Meanwhile, a Florida judge dismissed a case involving Pokemon Go's terms and conditions. A Pokemon Go player claimed that the terms and conditions were vague enough that Niantic could hypothetically take his items and boot him from the game without reimbursing him. The judge ruled that the player's case had no merit, as Niantic hadn't actually caused him harm and amounted to speculation. The player had 10 days to amend the lawsuit or the case will be dismissed.

Pokemon Go's legal troubles aren't totally at an end, though. There's still a major federal case involving the game that is set to be decided upon sometime this summer involving Niantic's alleged trespassing by marking things on a virtual map. There's also the ongoing case of a blogger who is facing multiple years in prison for recording himself playing Pokemon Go in a Russian church.

By Christian Hoffer

Christian Hoffer is WWG's resident PokeJournalist and Pokemon expert. He also enjoys Ohio sports, wrestling, and comics.