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Hey there,
I wanted to know if it is necessary to patent an engine that is designed for a game, that will potential make money (through sale), and will be used to develop other video games. This is for a small up and coming company. The actual engine won't be sold, but the video games will

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Your engine is protected by copyright law, not by patent.

Patent protects certain kinds of completely original inventions and algorithms. Some large companies file software patents, but it's a faux pas in the gaming community (frowned upon) to file or enforce software patents. It's expensive, and it could give you a bad reputation.

Just file the copyright (although it's also protected automatically, filing can make it easier); that will give you more than enough protection.

In fact, if you're generous, and want a karma boost, you might also consider releasing your engine code as open source by a copyleft license (GPL). It is generally recognized by companies that releasing engines as GPL provides little to no threat to earning potential with proprietary licenses for their own titles, but there are certain advantages to releasing your engine to the public (from good PR and advertising, to help with Bug fixes if contributions are made under a more permissive license).

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