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Subject: patents rss

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Calvin Daniels
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Hi

Can a game be patented?

How does one go about it?

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Tim Stellmach
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Short answers: Yes. One engages an attorney who specializes in such things.
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Jeff Huter
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If you want it done correctly, you hire a registered patent attorney (assuming you're in the US). However, there is nothing to prevent an inventor from drafting and prosecuting his own patent application.
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Nick Witchey
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Athough a game can be patented, the real question is does it make business sense to spend the $10,000 to $20,000 to obtain a patent for a game.

Each jurisdiction (e.g., USA, Canada, Japan, etc.) has different laws and requirements.

Other types of IP might be more relevant for a particular game. Trademarks and copyrights should also be considered.

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Curt Carpenter
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Out of curiosity, I did a quick search to see what existing board games have patents. It's hard to do (patents don't list the game names), but from a quick search I found Vendetta, Barrier, and Clever Endeavor. You know, those awesome games that other designers would like to steal, if only they weren't protected by a patent. shake
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Corvallis
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Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco - You're Driving Me Crazy
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When does a proposed game need to a patent or copyright?
Patent and DIY game publishing
Can you patent and sell a game that uses a best selling author's methods and ideas?
Patent Infringement?
How to get a patent by yourself
Patent, trademark, or copyright question, I'm not sure which
Legal Question - Copyright or Patent
Tom Jolly's patent
WOTC claims patent on CSGs?

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Kevin B. Smith
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Chrononauts claims to have a patent...which is one reason I have no plans to buy that game. I'm not fond of patents due to how they are severely abused in the software industry.

You (or more likely your attorney) would have to decide what part or parts of the game to patent, or whether to patent the whole. There are lots of tricks to patents where you want to cover as much as possible, but if you go too broad then it can either get rejected, or can get overturned later, or you open the door for people to sneak in and use (important) smaller parts as long as they don't replicate the whole. You will pay your attorney a lot of money for all of this work.

Anyway, I agree that for 99% of boardgames, patents wouldn't make sense. Copyrights and trademarks can protect some of the good stuff, and honestly, a) you're not likely to make a lot of money from the game, and b) while games borrow a lot of ideas from each other, "stealing" is rare.

Need I say that I'm not a lawyer?
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Tim Stellmach
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curtc wrote:
Out of curiosity, I did a quick search to see what existing board games have patents. It's hard to do (patents don't list the game names), but from a quick search I found Vendetta, Barrier, and Clever Endeavor. You know, those awesome games that other designers would like to steal, if only they weren't protected by a patent. shake

Should have started with searching geeklists for titles including "patent."

"Innovative Games" - Games That Have Been Patented

Offhand, the highest-ranked example on the list seems to be Magic: The Gathering, followed closely by Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie.
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