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arcarocket

Software Patent - Issues to worry about??

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How can anyone make any kind of games anymore? They have patents like "Chain Reaction Game" that covers almost any type of puzzle game under the sun. Then there is "Bingo Game" Patent that covers any kind of random game. I know there is talk about overturning all these patents that cover "anything under the sun" but for now as far as I know these are true enforceable patents. Now with the age of "indie" development do we have to worry about stepping on these patents? It's a real concern before we invest $1,000's into development. Any insight or help would be appreciated!

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I bet many patents their stuff, but few sues. The only thing I can remember is Crazy Taxi vs Simpsons Road Rage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Taxi_(series)

They had the same feel. Almost like the same engine, but with different meshes. But they didn't attack GTA for the taxi part, because it's different. Like you can make a tetris like game, but just use different blocks shape.

If you really want to be sure, I'd spend a few 100's for a lawyer.

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Investing $1000's in development means that tripping over a patent is a very small risk, and even if they do, the risk of facing a lawsuit is negligible.

The patent trolls are normally only interested in getting licensing money. You could get C&D letters and demands for royalties, but the cost of litigation makes it very unlikely that they will challenge such a small business. They won't spend much money because they know they can't get anything back in return.

Legitimate patent owners might actually sue because they really want you to stop using their processes, even if it shuts you down. This class of businesses are generally nicer and will usually give you the opportunity to adjust your product to avoid the patent. Unless you are knowingly violating their patent (which you should never do) then you can generally ignore the very tiny risk patents pose to such a small business.

Major games will invest $1000000's in development, and they have legal teams that evaluate the costs and risks of patent violations.

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