The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has delivered another anti-piracy windfall to Nintentdo by confiscating R4 chips and assorted counterfeit Nintendo products from a local importer.
R4 Chips – also known as Revolution 4 – are in the shape of Nintendo DS game cartridges but can take a memory card so users can play downloaded games on it. While the device can be used for legitimate purposes such as listening to music and watching video clips on the DS, it is generally bought to play illegally downloaded games.
According to the video Nintendo, this is the first time customs has dealt with R4 cards.
The event occurred on January 29 whereby Customs seized around 150 items suspected of infringing Nintendo’s trademark. According to the department, the items were taken in under the Notice of Objection Scheme in the Trade Marks Act 1995.
The importer has agreed to relinquish the products and Customs will dispose of them.
ARN requested the identity of the importer but Customs declined to disclose comment further.
“We have worked with industry to build a better understanding of, and access to, the Notice of Objection Scheme," the department's media division said. "Over the last three years, to June 2009, this resulted in a steady increase in the number of intellectual property notices of objection in force.
“During 2008-2009 we made 2158 seizures of suspected counterfeit or pirated goods, comprising a total of 794,580 items with a total retail value of over $11 million.”
Nintendo has the right to take the importer to court but the company has yet to indicate its intentions to take legal action on the offender.
Attempts to block the sale of R4 on major online merchant sites such as eBay and Amazon have failed to quash the popularity of the chips but Nintendo has recently had some success in fighting piracy through legal action.
In February, the video games juggernaut sued IT accessories distributor, RSJ IT Solutions, for selling R4s on a number of its company websites. The Federal Court ordered RSJ to pay Nintendo $520,000 in damages. The owners of the business were ordered to pay $100,000.
In a statement, Nintendo said the court ruling establishes the illegal nature of selling and distributing game copiers.
Nintendo’s local anti-piracy efforts stretch beyond preventing the rampant spread of the R4. The company also took Queensland man, James Burt, to court for uploading a copy of the Nintendo Wii game, Super Mario Bros., before its Australian release date. Nintendo was awarded $1.5 million dollars.
ARN will provide updates on Customs action to seize R4 chips as news comes in.