Nintendo claims victory in game piracy case

A US federal court has awarded Nintendo of America $US7 million in damages from two firms accused of selling products used to make and play pirated copies of Nintendo 64 and Gameboy software, Nintendo said yesterday.

The judgment was issued against Hong Kong manufacturer Bung Enterprises and one of its US distributors, Nintendo said in a statement.

The court also issued a permanent injunction that prevents Bung from marketing or selling any device that can be used to copy Nintendo software. The injunction extends to the US, Canada, Mexico and the countries of Central and South America, and covers both traditional and Internet commerce, Nintendo said.

Bung's products include the Game Doctor, the Doctor V64 and V64 Jr., and the Doctor GB System. In its lawsuit, Nintendo said the games can be used to copy Nintendo software from its original cartridge format to the hard drive of a PC or to a Web site for distribution worldwide.

The court ruled that the products infringe Nintendo's copyrights, trademarks and patents, Nintendo said in the statement.

Bung could not immediately be reached for comment, and Nintendo's statement did not identify the US distributor in the case or the federal court that issued the verdict. Nintendo did not immediately return a call seeking more information.

The games vendor has filed hundreds of lawsuits against counterfeiters in a bid to stamp out piracy, which cost Nintendo, its publishers and developers about $750 million in worldwide sales last year, the company said.

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