Pokémon Go Players Can't Just Trespass On Your Property, Right?

30 August 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


Pokémon Go is the latest popular game, encouraging people to get outside and capture the characters around cities across the world. It is raising an important issue regarding trespassing, though. Is it legal for people to just step onto your property without your permission? Here's a look at the law to help protect your property rights.

Wait, How Could Someone Trespass?

The game automatically places characters around cities. The characters should only appear where people can get to from public land, but that isn't always the case. Technology gets it wrong now and then, and you want to know your rights should a character end up on your property, leading to the public coming in to get it.

What Does the Law State?

According to the law, a person isn't allowed to trespass without the owner's permission. When it comes to playing a game, if a character ends up on private land, a person will just have to wait for it to move and go to find the next Pokémon.

Niantic Labs, the creators of the game, makes it very clear in the Terms of Use that players need to follow the laws and take responsibility for any injury, damage, etc. caused while game playing. This has been reiterated in a recent lawsuit against the game creators, as people are fed up with the public trespassing on their land.

Can Players Ask for Your Permission?

There have been cases where players have remained on public land, trying to get a Pokémon on private land. The players aren't trespassing, so there isn't much that you can do. The only issue would be if they were breaching your right to privacy, which you should seek legal advice on how to deal with.

Players can also come onto your property to knock on your door. They can ask for permission to get the Pokémon, and it is up to you whether to give it or not.

Who Can You Sue?

If you do find someone trespassing while playing, you do have the option of suing that person. There is the option of suing the game makers for negligence, but this is trickier. You will need to seek legal advice to help handle the situation and sue the right person or entity for the right reasons.

In short, the Pokémon Go app doesn't give players the right to trespass on your land. In fact, the game creators make it very clear that this is not allowed while playing. That doesn't mean individuals aren't doing it, though.

For more information, contact an attorney in your area.