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can you copyright a game combat system?

28 posts in this topic

You can not copyright or patient a concept or idea. You can copyright/patient your source code. This is your only real legal protection aginst "cloning". However, others can make simular products based off your concept/idea but it can not be identical.

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[quote name='bschmidt1962' timestamp='1348962271' post='4985191']
[quote]I was thinking of creating a combat system[/quote]

If you have a "system" for doing things, then what you need is a patent, not a copyright. A patent, unlike a copyright, is not automatic.
you need to:
-- Do a search for 'prior art'-- to make sure that this system hasn't been done before
-- put your system into practice-- that can either by having a working system, or by creating a detailed specification. It needs to be detailed enought that someone "skilled in the art" could duplicate it after reading your document
-- Hire an attorney to draft a patent application based on your detailed specification.
-- File it with the USPTO (US Patent/Trademark office)... and/or other international equivalents.

Figure on spending between $8,000-12,000 on the above.

Regarding the little mini-thread on "free legal advice in a forum." The reason you do not want to do that is that legal outcomes and decisions can be greatly affected by seemingly insignificant details. A Forum conversation is a terrible way to try to get enough details on a particular case to do be able to draw any clear conclusions.
So forums are great for general suggestions, but you should always go to an attorney (who will talk with you and get enough specificac details to give you proper advice).

Brian Schmidt
GameSoundCon San Francisco
Oct 24,25

hmm great, are you a lawyer?
Good info anyway.
yes general info is all that i asked for :)

But now i have so many more quetions than i Did in the OP..
They are all listed on this second page.

Please can you answer them too pleaseeeeeeeee

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[quote]They are all listed on this second page.
Please can you answer them too pleaseeeeeeeee
Doing a patent is a lot of work. So I'm afraid if you are really serious, you're going to need to research these things.

You will probably never know then answer to the "did they pay them" questions-- most of the time, that kind of information is not public.
Regarding your "how can they patent things so similar to other patents?" Remember when I said it's all in the details. This is especially true for patents. Critical details can determine whether a patent is original or not. Or of someone's game is "infringing" on the patent. Very often someone will create a patent, and then another company will discover that by changing some small detail, they can do pretty much the same thing, but not violate the patent.
Also, sometimes the patent office just doesn't get it right and accidentally lets through a patent that probably shouldn't have been.

My suggestion-- If you have a game idea, go make your game and don't worry about patents. I've done about 20 patents, including one self-funded one. They are expensive and time consuming. Unless you have a clear business plan that uses the patent, it's probably not worth doing.
Especially for gameplay-related items... It's the implementation of your idea that will make or break your game

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