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The Legal Issues Surrounding Pokémon Go

August 5, 201628 min
The Pokémon Go App developed by Niantic is the latest craze sweeping the world. The location-based augmented reality mobile game/app produced 15 million downloads in just the first week. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. Unfortunately, this popular app has caused some trouble amongst gamers and has created a big threat to public safety. Trespassing on property, muggings, driving distracted, walking into traffic, and falling from cliffs are just some of the incidents stemming from the use of this app. In addition, businesses are attracting customers by adding fantasy characters to their stores, so the implications for liability have increased. On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join professor Adam Thimmesch, an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and attorney Brian Wassom from the firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP as they discuss the Pokémon Go App. They look at the very real legal implications surrounding this popular app, incorporating reality into a fantasy world, and whether Pokémon Go is here to stay or simply a passing fad. Professor Adam Thimmesch is an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Adam focuses his research on the impact of modern technology and markets on existing legal doctrines, with a particular emphasis on tax policy and the regulation of interstate commerce Attorney Brian Wassom is from the firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Brian is the leader of the firm’s social, mobile and emerging media industry group and is a litigator with 15 years of experience focusing his practice on intellectual property matters related to copyright, trademark, trade dress, and publicity rights. He also handles many other types of complex commercial litigation cases, including invasion of privacy, defamation, false and deceptive advertising, data security, and product liability issues. Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

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