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Gardon

Can you patent a game design?

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For example, I have this really cool gameplay system worked out, yet no game to use it in. And, even if I did create a game, it would have to be in 2D (to accompany my programming skill), even though the design for my gameplay was originally thought of for 3D. So, is there any way to patent my idea? I know there's been talk of RPG's becoming more and more boring lately as far as the gameplay is concerned, and I'm convinced that I have thought of a way to make RPG action unbelievable (I just wish I could do it in a game, rather than on paper). However, in 5-10 years, when I finally do get the experience needed to make a 3d game, it might just be too late for me to use my idea. What should I do, Gardon

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IANAL, but from what I know you can't patent game design. You can get copyright and trademark protection on game implementations or projects. For example, no one can stop me from making a Tetris clone. They can stop me from calling it Tetris, since that would be infringing on the trademark. Nor can I use Tetris' music since that would be infringing the music copyright.

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Dear lord, no. That abbreviation shows up in about 20% of posts we get in the business forum.

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IANAL.

Ideas cannot be patented, only processes. If your battle system is unique and original or contains unique and original ideas, you maybe able to patent it.

For example, Magic the gathering pantented turning cards to represent gamestates. It was unique and not obvous. Magic, however, cannot patented card games.

IMHO, if you think your idea will appear in 5 ~ 10 years if no one sees it, then maybe it's not unique enough.

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Yeah, I don't believe you can patent entire games, but you can patent individual mechanics.

Here's a good article

Fun fact: Namco currently holds a patent on playing a minigame while at the loading screen. So now, no one but Namco can have minigames during the loading screen. That article also has a couple examples of other things that have been successfully patented.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I want a patent on pressing the "E" key with anything on a computer keyboard, wheather it is a finger, pencil, pen, nose, etc. Sorry guys, better find another way to write those get and set methods... Oh wait... I want the "(" and ")" instead.

What if each company had a patent for one genre (RTS, RPG, FPS, etc) of games, the gaming industry would have been drastically different. I do not know about you but I would like the compition. It gives the gamer a greater selection of games to play instead of waiting years for Microsoft to release their next Age of Empires game if you wanted to play another RPG, if they had the patent.

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