John Kirby, the lawyer that when represented Nintendo in a legal dispute more than the name of Nintendo’s Donkey Kong series and the partial namesake for the titular star of Kirby’s Dream Land, has passed away at the age of 79.
Kirby notably faced off against Universal Studios’ 1984 allegations that Donkey Kong infringed its trademark on King Kong, a case that at some point concluded King Kong had entered the public domain and was totally free to inspire Nintendo’s Donkey Kong character and games.
In 2011, famed Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto shared that the name of Nintendo’s now-iconic Kirby character was partially selected due to his prior interactions with John Kirby.
As outlined in his obituary in the New York Instances, Kirby’s decades-extended legal profession saw him operating alongside corporations like Pepsi and America On the web in addition to his function with Nintendo. Kirby notably spent time as the unique assistant to the head of the Civil Rights Division at the US Division of Justice in the course of the civil rights moment in the 1960s, assisting to uncover discriminatory practices against African-American voters in southern states.