Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest
) has announced it has filed a federal lawsuit in the Central District of California against several defendants it claims have infringed on its intellectual property.
The lawsuit focuses on at least four wholesale retailers who allegedly sold unlicensed replicas of swords that appear in Square Enix's Final Fantasy
games -- specifically, four video games and one CG-animated film (the likely candidate, Advent Children, is not mentioned by name).
The company says it may name additional defendants, and adds that the lawsuit is part of its anti-piracy initiatives against individuals and organizations who make unauthorized use of its IP.
Square Enix cooperated with the U.S. State Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol, whose agents seized a crate of the unlicensed replica swords. After an investigation on the company's part to identify the alleged counterfeiters, Square Enix says those retailers refused to cooperate with them, resulting in the lawsuit.
Square Enix general counsel Yasuhiko Hasegawa commented, "We are actively pursuing those who commit intellectual property infringement against our company. 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."