According to documents filed yesterday by the Western District of Washington Court, David Maisonave was found guilty of violating the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Washington Uniform Trade Secrets Act by leaking pages from the Pokémon Sword and Shield strategy guide.
Maisonave was working for LSC Communications, a printing company that had been hired to print the official Pokémon Sword and Shield strategy guide.
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While working there, Maisonave took photos of certain pages of the guide which revealed new features that hadn’t yet been discussed publicly by either Nintendo or The Pokémon Company.
He shared these images with a friend, who then posted them in a Discord group of which Bryan Cruz was a member.
Cruz went on to post the images online, which led to their widespread distribution. Cruz was also found guilty.
Both Maisonave and Cruz were found liable for $150,000 each in monetary damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.
Forbes reported back in 2019 that Pokémon Company International had hired forensic experts to find out the identities of the leakers involved, and was even considering issuing subpoenas to Discord and 4chan to get their help in tracking them down.
This wasn’t the only incident involving Pokémon Sword and Shield leaks.
Portuguese website FNintendo had its ties with Nintendo broken after one of its reviewers received an early copy of the game for review purposes and leaked images and other information online before Nintendo’s embargo had lifted.
The images were taken from a pre-release version of the Switch game, which it was supplied by Nintendo for review under NDA.
In a joint statement sent to VGC, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company confirmed it will no longer work with FNintendo.