A rule designed to regulate Pokemon Go on public property has backfired against Milwaukee County.
A Milwaukee County panel unanimously agreed to pay $83,000 in attorney fees to settle a lawsuit over a law made due to Pokemon Go. Back in February 2017, Milwaukee passed an ordinance requiring augmented reality app developers to obtain local permits in order to set up locations in county parks.
Milwaukee County passed the law back in February as a response to Pokemon Go players leaving litter in their park. They intended for Niantic (and other developers) to submit an application and take out a $1 million dollar insurance policy in order to use their parks in the game.
However, a smaller developer named Candy Labs protested the law and claimed it violated their first amendment rights to develop an augmented reality game in which players traveled to real world locations to collect playing cards for a game of poker. And back in July, a federal judge agreed with Candy Labs, noting that the law was odious and likely violated the constitution. Instead, the judge suggested that Milwaukee simply police its parks to ensure that Pokemon Go players don't litter or stay in the park after it closed for the night.
After the federal judge issued the injunction, Milwaukee quietly backed down from their proposed law. And now, in addition to paying Candy Lab's attorney fees, the county has agreed that it won't enforce the ordinance at all.
Pokemon Go and augmented reality games will continue to be a hot legal topic for quite some time. However, it seems that the law is backing Pokemon Go...at least for now.