Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
ccc123

would a patent protect your game?

This topic is 4846 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

hello guys, does anybody know if you can protect a puzzle game by protecting the idea/logic of the game? let's say you develop a game, chess for example. can you you prevent others from creating another game of chess with different graphics, sounds, etc. by patenting the rules/method of the game (chess in this example)can you prevent others from developing a (better) game of chess? thanks. PS I know that chess is not patented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Guest Anonymous Poster
Idea/logic patents are evil. I really hope it's not possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fortunately, you can't (yet). See:

http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/

and you will see why software patents can be evil ^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes you can usually patent game rules and ideas. It really has nothing to do with software. See US Patent # 5662332 for an example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm no lawyer, but I think the protection needed for that would be copyright, not a trademark. This is going on my memory of an article I've read on GameDev twice now (the second time being last night!), but I'm not entirely trusting of my memory!

The article was here:

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1985.asp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeah, I wasn't talking about software patents but rather about playing method patents. so, it looks like krum pretty much got the answer.

the reason I was asking this is simple:
after you work hard to develop a game with limited resources, you would want a second chance to improve that game in case the first version/release was not the best. you don't want somebody else with loads of resources to capitalize on your playing rules/method by developing a new video game based on those rules.

this being said, is there other way (other than the playing method patent) to prevent others from building a video game based on your method of playing?

thank you all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by krum
Yes you can usually patent game rules and ideas. It really has nothing to do with software. See US Patent # 5662332 for an example.


Ah, my favourite patent example! Yes, patents can and have been used to protect game ideas, as in the case of U.S. patent 5,662,332: Trading card game method to play granted to Wizards of the Coast, Inc.. It's the only way to protect the ideas behind a game, unless you can somehow make it a trade secret.

However, you'll have to make sure that you aren't basing your game too heavily on any other game before (that's prior art), so you couldn't patent chess, for example. You could patent a unique modification to chess, if it's unique enough.

But of course, patents can be useless if a large company just decides to steal your idea, unless you have the legal muscle to go after them. That's the main problem with patents at the moment; it all boils down to whoever has the most lawyers, wins.

The best way to protect your idea is to make your implementation of the game idea so great and fun that there's no reason for other people to steal your idea; everyone will be playing your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
The best way to protect your idea is to make your implementation of the game idea so great and fun that there's no reason for other people to steal your idea; everyone will be playing your game.

Didn't work for Tetris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by ccc123
the reason I was asking this is simple:
after you work hard to develop a game with limited resources, you would want a second chance to improve that game in case the first version/release was not the best. you don't want somebody else with loads of resources to capitalize on your playing rules/method by developing a new video game based on those rules.

Well, you already have a head start on other companies of a year or two, or however long it takes for them to write a new game based on your idea.

If your idea really is that novel, then you ought to get enough sales from your first version to make it worthwhile.

I don't see that it follows that you should get a monopoly on all future versions too. What if you never manage to make a decent version, but another company is able to make a better version, should society be denied that? Is your game truely novel in *every* aspect, or are you too building on previous ideas from others? Imagine if every new game idea (be it Space Invaders or Wolfenstein) was patented, and think what the games industry would look like now...

Following on from what Trapper Zoid said - the problem with patents is that if you try to go after a larger company for using their idea, they will likely sue you for infringing on one or more patents that they own (since large companies tend to patent just about everything they can, and will have been doing so for longer than you've been around). You'll either have to agree to let them use it, or give up selling your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!