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Sales had raised $10,000 for the JED Foundation Charity
Nintendo reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to Alex Blake (CptnAlex) after he successfully crowdfunded the creation of custom Joy-Con cases designed to honour the memory of Desmond “ETIKA” Amofah.
The IndieGoGo campaign was started in August 2019 by a fan of Desmond, who took his own life in 2019. The campaign promised backers a custom pair of Joy-Con controllers with a design that featured Eitka’s logo, and the logo for the “JoyConBoyz” community.
For each pledge of $65 (£48.73), 25 per cent went to production, whilst 65 per cent was donated to the JED Foundation, a charity based in America that “protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.”
After the story began to trend on Twitter, Blake clarified the conversations he had had with Nintendo since September 2020. He clarified that after the second campaign was successful, he sold remaining the stock via Etsy since 2019. In September of this year, he received a cease and desist letter from Nintendo.
The documentation states that to avoid further action, Blake must “cease all production, marketing, sale and distribution of the Infringing Products and all use of Nintendo’s trademarks in connection with such products.”
The screenshots Blake posted claimed that the trademarks infringed included “Joy-Con”, “Nintendo Switch”, “MII”, “WiiFIT”, as well as “POKÉMON” and the starter choices for the most recent generation of games.
Blake clarified that selling custom controller cases was not the issue, rather the use of copyright in using the Joy-Con name, as such he is required to alter various designs on his site.
Speaking to the Independent, he said the “I had numerous back and forth with [Nintendo’s lawyer] in order to get my shop in compliance.”
This news follows a report from The Verge that Nintendo had shut down a Super Smash bros. Tournament for using mods to play online, causing #FreeMelee to trend on Twitter in response.
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