Cooking Mama IP owner Office Create Corp has revealed a court has ruled in its favour following a legal tussle with the publisher of Cooking Mama: Cookstar.
Cookstar has been embroiled in trouble ever since its release on Switch in March 2020, which saw it quickly disappear from Nintendo’s eShop and physical stores – a move later revealed to be due to a licensing dispute between Office Create and publisher Planet Entertainment.
Office Create claimed Planet Entertainment had refused to correct what it saw as a “wide range of deficiencies affecting the overall feel, quality and content of the game” during development, despite being contractually obligated to do so, and had instead proceeded to release Cooking Mama: Cookstar without Office Create’s approval.
As a result, Office Create terminated Planet Entertainment’s Cooking Mama licence, and said it was considering legal action to protect its IP, given the publisher continued to advertise and sell the “unauthorised” Cookstar on Switch and was promoting an upcoming PS4 release.
Two years on, it transpires Office Create did indeed sue Planet Entertainment and its CEO Steve Grossman for breach of intellectual property rights, and that the International Chamber of Commerce’s Court of Arbitration has now (as spotted by Nintendo Life) sided with the IP owner.
“By way of a Final Award dated October 3, 2022,” Office Create wrote on its website, “the ICC Arbitral Tribunal has found, among other things, that Planet and Mr. Grossman were not authorised to release the Cooking Mama: Cookstar Switch and PS4 games in 2020 and 2021 respectively, that the license agreement had been validly terminated, that the unlicensed Cooking Mama: Cookstar products infringe Office Create’s trademarks…that they had engaged in unfair competition, that the packaging, labeling and games themselves falsely identify the origin of goods as Office Create…and that they are financially liable for their conduct.”
“The Arbitral Tribunal has enjoined Planet and Mr. Grossman from selling, passing off, inducing, or enabling others to sell or pass off any product as a Cooking Mama product and/or otherwise suggesting any association/connection with Office Create or the Cooking Mama franchise.”
Office Create adds it’s now taking “all necessary steps” to ensure Cooking Mama: Cookstar is removed from the market.
“We thank our customers and loyal Cooking Mama fans for their continued support,” the statement concludes, “and sincerely regret any confusion and disappointment that has been caused by Planet’s and Mr. Grossman’s conduct.”