The lawsuit names at least four wholesalers of unlicensed sword replicas and their principals, which have willfully infringed four videogames and one CG-animated film in Square Enix's Final Fantasy franchise. Additional defendants may be added to this lawsuit. By filing this lawsuit, Square Enix is stepping up its anti-piracy enforcement with aggressive initiatives against individuals and organizations involved in the theft and unauthorized use of the company's intellectual properties. This lawsuit follows multiple confidential settlements with various retailers of similar infringing items, each of which involved the payment of a substantial financial penalty.
The current lawsuit is a result of cooperation with the United States Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol, whose agents seized a crate of counterfeit replica swords. These seized swords had been designed to replicate the unique swords featured in Square Enix's Final Fantasy franchise. Square Enix conducted a thorough investigation to identify the primary wholesalers and retailers of these unauthorized products in the United States. The targets of the current lawsuit have refused to cooperate with Square Enix.
"We are actively pursuing those who commit intellectual property infringement against our company," said Yasuhiko Hasegawa, Square Enix's General Counsel. "Any illegal activities, including the sale and distribution of unauthorized replica merchandise and counterfeit jewelry, and the unauthorized copying of Square Enix games, music, movies, images, and other intellectual property, will be prosecuted. While Square Enix appreciates the enthusiasm of its fans, and values its relationship with them, it is also obligated to protect its intellectual property rights or risk weakening or losing the very rights that enable the company to continue to provide its fans with an exciting entertainment experience."