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Game Idea Patents

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Are there patents for game ideas? If I create a clone of tetris, risk, monopoly, or some other game, do I have to pay royalties to any company?

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well the seemingly endless lawsuits from Hasbro would seem to make your theory/question true. Technically, you can have a similar product as long as the two can be easily distinguishable. i believe.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
http://www.gamedev.net/reference/business/features/legalissues2/

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Don't clone it, put a new twist on an old idea. Add something original to the mix. Better yet start you game around a core original idea and add gameplay elements from other games on top of that core idea. For instance: It is somewhat like a combination of Donkey Kong and Tetris but with diamonds and elephants instead of blocks and monkeys.

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How different do the games have to be though to consider them actually different? Is it just the look or the gameplay mechanics?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
any company can take you to court and claim you copied their work, all they have to prove to the court that there are similarities. It is then your burden of prooving that EVERYTHING was done by you without using another piece of work as something to copy from or emulate.

just don't even think of doing this. come up with your own ip unless you want to get sued for patent infringments and copyright infringments. even if you win, are you prepared to shell out the money for the law suit?

walk away!

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Alright..so I guess that games are considered IP in terms of their artwork and complete implementation, and not only certain parts of them.. like gameplay mechanics. What I AM interested in is whether a port of a game to a mobile device such as Tetris could only be made with the purchase of a tetris license.. if one exists?

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It took me all of two minutes to find the answer from the link you provided.

The article you linked to had a link to the developers Gamespot file.
The gamespot file had a link to their web site
Their web site had a link to info on the game....

"Blue Lava quickly snapped up the rights to create and publish a wireless version of the game and now also brings us Tetris Deluxe."

Tetris is copyright of someone and anyone wanting to make a version would need permission.

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"any company can take you to court and claim you copied their work, all they have to prove to the court that there are similarities"


I think that is too gerenal to be used. I mean if want you say is right then basically all RTS games( starcraft, warcraft, AOE, AOM, Command and Conquer ) are all basically the same game. i mean have as you say "similarities:

Gather resources
build builds
build units
etc...

plus in court i would think thy have to prove they used your work in your game not the other way around, i mean that is how evry one type of case is, the plentive have the burden of prove not the defendent.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The plaintiff only has to show the court similarities exisit and that the similarities are more likely than not copies.

The burden then shifts to the defendant to prove his work is orginal. And yes, you can bring a suit against anyone at anytime for any reason. This does not mean the court will not sanction the lawyer or the party who brought the suit. But they can none the less bring as suit against anyone they wish.

As my contracts professor says it is a loser case, but a case none the less that costs money to litigate. hasbro has millions, do you?

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