The developer behind Pokémon Go is facing a class action lawsuit from a resident of New Jersey that claims the game is encouraging people to trespass on his property.
Polygon reports that Jeffrey Marder is accusing Niantic – as well as Nintendo and The Pokémon Company – of profiting from a game that can see players entering private property without permission, including his own home. He also cites the addition of Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms to sensitive areas such as Washington DC’s Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The plaintiff goes on to complain that the presence of strangers loitering around his home is interfering with his life.
“At least five individuals knocked on plaintiff’s door and asked for access to plaintiff’s backyard in order to ‘catch’ Pokémon that the game had placed in plaintiff’s residence in West Orange, New Jersey – without plaintiff’s permissions,” the suit reads.
“To create that immersive world, Niantic made unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s and other Class members’ property by placing Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms thereupon or nearby. In so doing, Niantic has encouraged Pokémon Go’s millions of players to make unwanted incursions onto the properties of Plaintiff and other members of the class — a clear and ongoing invasion of their use and enjoyment of their land from which Defendants have profited and continue to profit. "
Niantic, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo have 21 days to respond to the suit, which asks two questions: Is the game enticing people to trespass on private property, and are the defendants profiting from that?
We recently debated how much responsibility Niantic should take for its players’ actions, and would love to know your thoughts.