I have created a Pokemon themed app , and I'm going to upload it to Google Store but I have some doubts. I have two versions of the app , one free and another "premium" which costs 2$ , also I want to introduce ads in the app in order to get some money . Is this legal ? Can Pokemon turn down my app ? Do I need to specify something in the description in order to tell Pokemon that the content I use don't belong to me ?


1 Answer 1


Your app is a simple case of copyright infringement. All the Pokémon are copyrighted, the lettering and names are also protect by trademarks.

Trying to claim fair use will be outright impossible: you'll use huge portions of the individually protected Pokemon (the iconic ones like Pikachu) and you are usurping a market they are already in. They have given licenses for apps (Pokemon Go). Pokemon are artistic and some form of fiction. The last straw might be if you'd do a rather obvious parody, but even then, I see no way to show Fair Use with what you stated. No disclaimer can change that, and publishing your work might open you to a huge lawsuit with damages for each individually protected Pokemon you infringed on. With between 750 $ minimum and 150,000 $ absolute upper limit per infringed item (last is for willful infringement), you don't want to infringe on Pokemon, as you could be very easily liable for a number in the 6 to 9 digits! Even if Nintendo might only try to get the statutory damages for all the 900 Pokémon, that is a number of at least 675,4000 $.

And that's before looking at Trademarks. Pikachu has about 6 live word marks and there are 111 different Pokémon trademarks filed (some expired or dead)!

  • And how is possible that there are Pokemon apps like mine in the store actually ? Why these aren't being reported ? Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 13:25
  • 2
    They either don't know or don't care that they are liable for extreme amounts or they hope to fly under the radar long enough and then shut down when they get a C&D letter. It takes someone reporting it to the Pokemon owning company so they could take action.
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 13:28
  • 3
    @NexussimLements Other reasons why the Pokemon Company did not take those other games down yet could be that they haven't found those games yet or that they expect that the infringing parties are litigation-proof (live in some exotic country where legal actions are futile or wouldn't have the money to even pay for the legal costs). Or perhaps they are already on the todo-list of the Pokemon Companies legal department and will receive their C&D in the next weeks. do not waste your time on developing fangames. It's not worth it.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 14:04

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