West Orange resident Jeffrey Marder said at least five people have come knocking on his door, seeking access to his back yard, since the virtual hide-and-seek came out to intense popularity last month.
“Within days of the game’s release, it became clear that a number of the GPS coordinates that defendants had designated … on or directly adjacent to private property,” Marder’s lawyers said.
“Plaintiff discovered as much when, during the week of Pokemon Go’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand. At least five individuals knocked on plaintiff’s door and asked for access to plaintiff’s backyard in order to ‘catch’ Pokemon that the game had placed at plaintiff’s residence in West Orange, New Jersey.”
Marder’s lawyers also cited incidents of Pokemon Go players going through the United States Holocaust Museum, cemeteries and the Albuquerque home where much of Breaking Bad was shot.
Companies making and distributing Pokemon Go know of the problem but have only touched on it lightly, according to the lawsuit.
“Niantic blithely acknowledges its placement of Pokestops on private property, advising users on the Pokemon Go website: ‘If you can’t get to the Pokestop because it’s on private property, there will be more just around the corner, so don’t worry!’” Marder’s lawsuit said.
Marder filed his lawsuit in San Francisco federal court, going after San Francisco-based game makers Niantic Inc. and Japanese companies Nintendo Co. and The Pokemon Company.
The civil action was filed as a class action in hopes of attracting others who have been similarly inconvenienced by gamemakers who have “shown a flagrant disregard” for property owners.
Reps for all three companies could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
The “augmented reality” game Pokemon Go has been downloaded more than 100 million times worldwide.