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Josheir

Designing a game legally.

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     I have a game nearing completion and I need help with a design problem. When I first started considering an adventure game I looked at other peoples efforts. Now I am remembering that the idea of using layout borders was not completely my idea. I think it is okay but I have a question to ask. My game is a tileset adventure type game. There are slightly thick layout borders organizing the screen parts. The actual useage should be of my own design, What I am wondering is if the idea of layout borders is the property of someone else. Do they own the idea of layout borders? It seems to me that this is an obvious common approach for tileset games. Is common layout allowed because it is common? I looked online but couldn't find the comparison game from approximately twelve years ago. Is it okay to use a similar idea of layout borders of my own layout?

 

Thank you for your time,

 

Josheir

Edited by Josheir

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AFAIK, design elements have not yet drawn the interest of patent trolls. Games borrow design elements from each other all the time. So you should be ok.

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Sections of the display screen all organized with rectangular surrounding lines.  The lines have a bit of width to them.  They seperate the display really but the display still includes them.

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AFAIK, design elements have not yet drawn the interest of patent trolls. Games borrow design elements from each other all the time. So you should be ok.

There's been a few design-patent infringement cases in gamedev -- tetris and crazy taxi come to mind...
But yes, thankfully this is very rare, so all us can just pretend that this stupid bit of IP law don't exist.

Actually copying someone's files is copyright infringement, but ideas are mostly fair game.

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Borders for tileset games may be such a common useage that its okay.  What do you all think of this?

 

Thank you, Josheir

Edited by Josheir

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There's been a few design-patent infringement cases in gamedev

 

 

Would the idea really be very special if there was infringement?

 

Thank you,

Josheir

Edited by Josheir

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This is what I dug up about the Tetris lawsuit....

 

 

"So Xio would have been legally entitled “to release a puzzle game where a user manipulates blocks to form lines which disappear,” but when it copied the way that idea is expressed, by using the same style of pieces, the same dimensions of the playing field and the same manner in which the pieces move and rotate, the judge ruled that Mino is infringing upon copyright."

 

 

This tetris lawsuit seems to have cloned expression, not used an element such as a border in a diferent way.

 

 

Josheir

Edited by Josheir

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About Crazy Taxi:

 

We've already seen the danger of these patents. Sega owns patent no. 6,200,138, which is entitled "Game display method, moving direction indicating method, game apparatus and drive simulating apparatus." What this means is that Sega has a lock on the idea of driving a car around a city with an arrow pointing towards the next destination; it's a patent on Crazy Taxi, more or less.

 

Is this what the lawsuit is about?

 

Thanks,

 

Josheir

Edited by Josheir

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