Kotiota had falsely represented themselves on their website to have been a contractor for The Pokémon Company, and involved in the development of titles including the recently released Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon Home, and the announced but never released Pokémon Sleep. They also claimed that Pokémon owned 8% of Kotiota. An investigation by cybercrime investigation firm IFW Global on behalf of The Pokémon Company International meanwhile found that the Kotiota didn't even appear to physically exist, with the company providing serviced office spaces at Kotiota's registered address having no record of the company whatsoever. Receiving no response from Kotiota after attempting to contact them multiple times in late November and early-to-mid December, The Pokémon Company International filed documents with the Federal Court of Australia on December 19th.
The Pokémon Company International first became aware of Kotiota Studios and PokéWorld after being alerted in August this year by Sergio F Cara of NotiPress news agency, and Gavin Sheehan, the games editor at BleedingCool, regarding contacts they had received that purported to be from Kotiota Studio's legal team, asking them to name Kotiota as a developer of Pokémon. It's likely that similar messages were also sent to other media organisations, though we cannot confirm exactly how far this spread, and it's likely many were discarded on the spot by their receipients as obvious spam.
At a hearing on December 21st at which representatives for Pokémon Pty Ltd, its director Xiaoyan Liu, and Kotiota Studios did not appear, The Honourable Justice Collier issued a broad injunction against the three parties, requiring that the PokéWorld game and NFTs not be sold or released; that the PokeWorld website be shut down; that they cease using the words “Pokemon” and/or “Pokémon” and/or “PokeWorld” and/or any name or word which is misleadingly, deceptively and/or confusingly similar; that they cease representing in any manner that they are licensed to develop Pokémon Games, or that they are affiliated with, associated with or otherwise connected in the course of trade with, approved by, or authorised by TPCI or The Pokémon Company or Nintendo.
Pokémon Pty Ltd and Xiaoyan Liu have also been required to file before January 20th
presumably 2023, though the court documents here appear to have a misprint, stating 20 January 2022additional documents regarding their private communications around this project, and the development and sale of PokéWorld and Pokémon NFTs. As of writing, the court has not yet assessed any specific damages that must be paid, though the injunction does require that Pokémon Pty Ltd and Xiaoyan Liu will be required to pay The Pokémon Company International's costs.
Given that Pokémon does already effectively have digital cards for sale with Pokémon Trading Card Game Live, fans may be happy to note that TPCI's US Based Attorney Ms Katherine Fang gave evidence to the court that "TPCI, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo had made a deliberate decision not to launch any Pokémon NFTs."