Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


#Actualfrob

Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:49 PM

Get permission.



That is all there is to it. Get permission or don't do it.



The fact that they did not reply does not grant a legal waiver. For example, if you wrote to Hasbro and asked them if you could clone Risk, their lack of reply does not mean you can go ahead and make a clone. That means they have evidence that you know your actions were likely infringing; in many court cases that means an automatic 3X the maximum damages.

Making an unauthorized direct clone of a board game would be a violation of many forms of IP. Trademark law applies to the names of everything, copyrights apply to visual elements, trade dress laws, unfair competition laws, and a wide varieties of other laws apply to the game. Naming it "<game name> mobile" would also be a trademark violation.



If you intend to clone a specific game, make sure you have proper written permission from the owner. This will almost certainly involve lawyers, contracts, in-person visits, and an exchange of money. Negotiation of permission is something that requires a lawyer to represent you. There are many different things that need to be included in the contract. If something important is forgotten, bad things can happen.



Making a new game in the form of another is possible but be careful. For example, there are many Monopoly clones, but it is a very risky area. You will need to invest in some serious lawyer-time to make sure you don't violate their rights, and then when the inevitable lawsuit or C&D order comes, you will need to discuss the specific claims with your lawyer to make sure you are in the clear. Even then the existing company can take you to court, and win or lose it will be expensive.


If you cannot negotiate permission, make something new and creative of your own.

#1frob

Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:47 PM

Get permission.



That is all there is to it. Get permission or don't do it.



The fact that they did not reply does not grant a legal waiver. For example, if you wrote to Hasbro and asked them if you could clone Risk, their lack of reply does not mean you can go ahead and make a clone. That means they have evidence that you know your actions were likely infringing; in many court cases that means an automatic 3X the maximum damages.

Making an unauthorized direct clone of a board game would be a violation of many forms of IP. Trademark law applies to the names of everything, copyrights apply to visual elements, trade dress laws, unfair competition laws, and a wide varieties of other laws apply to the game. Naming it "<game name> mobile" would also be a trademark violation.



If you intend to clone a specific game, make sure you have proper written permission from the owner. This will almost certainly involve lawyers, contracts, in-person visits, and an exchange of money. Negotiation of permission is something that requires a lawyer to represent you. There are many different things that need to be included in the contract. If something important is forgotten, bad things can happen.



Making a new game in the form of another is possible but be careful. For example, there are many Scrabble clones, but it is a very risky area. You will need to invest in some serious lawyer-time to make sure you don't violate their rights, and then when the inevitable lawsuit or C&D order comes, you will need to discuss the specific claims with your lawyer to make sure you are in the clear. Even then the existing company can take you to court, and win or lose it will be expensive.


If you cannot negotiate permission, make something new and creative of your own.

PARTNERS