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Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger Attorneys at Law

Pokemon Go Catches Legal Questions

Pokemon Go

No one was more surprised than the three officers standing near their police car when a Pokemon Go distracted driver sideswiped the police car. The driver, according to the Washington Post, emerged from his Toyota Rav4 telling officers, “That’s what I get for playing this dumb a– game.”

Pokemon Go is a huge hit with players but the “augmented reality” game has resulted in some players being seriously injured. The game, which relies on the user’s GPS, creates characters that players capture. According to ABA for Law Students, “the little animated gang has popped up in cemeteries, the middle of the ocean, a delivery room during labor, the actual Westboro Baptist Church, and of course, at the Holocaust Museum.”

Property Rights

There are many legal issues that players, business owners, homeowners, property owners, and public entities should be aware of to protect their legal interests. Some examples from the American Bar Association:

  • Does placing a Pokemon character on a private property, without permission, affect the owner’s interest in exclusive possession of the property?
  • Does it create an attractive nuisance?
  • Does owning real property extend property rights to intellectual property elements that are placed on it?
  • Is there liability for placing the characters on private property or in dangerous locations?

Learn more from the ABA here.

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