What just happened? Few companies aggressively protect their IPs quite like Nintendo. The Japanese gaming giant has launched plenty of copyright infringement lawsuits in the past, but this is the first against a TikTok star/Twitch streamer/adult entertainment industry worker.
Boasting 1.9 million followers on TikTok and more than 50,000 followers on Twitch, Pokeprincxss has a big social media presence. The name and numerous tattoos of the creatures are a testament to her love of Pokémon.
Nintendo, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Two months ago, she received an email from LegalZoom—the company where she trademarked her username—revealing that Nintendo had issued a cease and desist letter.
Nintendo likely objected to the Pokeprincxss trademark’s similarity with the Pokémon name, and the fact she sells merchandise based on her online personality featuring imagery from the long-running franchise.
As reported by Game Rant, Pokeprincxss assumed using the Pokémon imaginary would fall under parody and be classed as fair use. She notes that other streamers use the word ‘poki’ in their names and haven’t faced legal threats, while people sell Pokémon fan art all the time.
What could have put Pokeprincxss in Nintendo’s sights is her involvement in the adult entertainment industry and popular OnlyFans account. While the company isn’t quite as family friendly as it used to be—controversial murder simulator Hatred is supposedly coming to the Switch—it won’t want to risk any association with the streamer.
As a result of the letter, Pokeprincxss has had to pay Nintendo all of the money she made from merchandise sales and change her name to digitalprincxss.
We already know that Nintendo will send a pipe-wielding Mario (figuratively) after anyone who dares use one of its intellectual properties without permission. It's previously targeted devs of a Mario 64 mod, several ROM sites, a YouTube channel uploading its games’ soundtracks, a fan-made Super Mario 64 PC port, and many more.