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August 3, 2016

A step too far: Pokemon Go makers hit with trespassing lawsuit

News: Pokemon Go can barely last a day without some controversy.

By James Nunns

The makers of the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go are being sued by a man in the US.

A lawsuit been filed after players of the game were trespassing on private property, lingering outside of the man’s home and even knocking on his door.

This will be the first lawsuit against Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company and it seeks class action status for others that have had Pokemon stops and gyms placed on their property.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants have, “shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokemon without seeking the permission of property owners.”

Although this is the first lawsuit filed against the company it is not the first time the app, which launched on 6th July, has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

Across the world cases have appeared of Pokemon Go players trespassing, being lured into traps by criminals, and some players have even died while playing the game.

The makers of the game have increased the amount of warnings that players get in order to alert them to the dangers of being totally immersed in the game and forgetting about their surroundings. Warnings include telling players not to play the game while driving and not to trespass.

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While it is still early days for the app it appears to have barely been out of the news. Shortly after its release it was found that a number of people may have downloaded an infected version of the app by ‘sideloading’ it onto their devices.

Police in Virginia have used the app to lure people to their station in order to arrest them on a variety of charges from trespassing to grand larceny.

Recently the Japanese city of Hiroshima asked the creators of the app to remove the virtual Pokemon from memorials to victims of the atomic bomb. This request followed one by the operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant to keep the virtual critters out of its plants.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has even had to ask people not to play the game on their phones during their visit while the former concentration camp of Auschwitz has also banned the game.

If the lawsuit in the US is successful then it could lead to a raft of further claims by people that have seen their property infested by Pokemon Go players.

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