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About N1njaSt0rm

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  1. Remaking old games

    the general mechanics of game play is almost always open for any one to use (think how many platforms there are with just a character that jumps). The only thing that is protected is the name and the art work (technically the code too, but unless you get access to the original source code you can always use the clean room exception). There is some grey area in the middle when it comes to specialized mechanics (eg if you gave your character all the exact same powers as mario.), but with only a little variation you usually avoid it. I would say if you wanted to make a snake-like, or a brick-breaker-like game by all means go ahead and do it. The college I went to had snake as the beginning level programming final so, if a college can get away with doing it dozens of times a year, you won't have to worry about it.
  2. Try: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251311 If you want more info look up " how to make an investor pitch" or "investor pitch deck".
  3. How to protect yourself and your game?

    So there is no 100% way to guarantee some one won't steal what they have access to. It's part of business. So to sum up what's been said and give my own suggestions: 1. Only give people access to what they absolutely need. All major corporations practice this. It has 0 cost besides a bit of time. 2. Have them sign an NDA. It's not perfect but just the psychological effects of having a signed agreement can be powerful. If you want to take it a step farther try googleing something like "Are American NDAs enforceable in India" or what ever countries you need. You are not the first person who wanted to outsource internationally and there is a lot of helpful info. 3. Reputation. Find a freelancer who is active on something public, for example this forum or freelancer.com. Having some place where his\her bad acts would become public and could ruin their reputation will also help keep people honest. The simple fact is most people are good and there are thousands of interactions every day where no one screws the other over and very few of the opposite. The bad ones are just more salient so we think they are more likely then what actually happens.
  4. Soda cans, to much of the real deal or not?

    So on a side note this would not be a parody unless the game is about sodas.   Just as a primer on parodies:    A parody is a work that needs the original work to be relevant. For example any of the "scary movies" or "vampires suck" type movies.  The movie wouldn't have the same point without the original works they make fun of. Similar to a parody is a work of satire. A satire is a work that uses copyrighted work to relay another focus.  For example if some one wrote a book using the harry potter characters but made them all super communist to make a statement about capitalism or something (I'm making this up here).  The focus in this work is about capitalism and it doesn't "need" harry potter to make its point.     The point being parodies are completely within the realm of fair use.  Satires are not and are infringement without the proper licenses.  The line between the two is not black and white, but this is what courts may generally follow.   For your cans just mix up the name, color, and style and you should be fine.  For example the cola, with the red can, and swooping letters. For example make the can blue and the letters like your yellow can's and you would be completely safe.  This would require less creative original design but should make you safe enough.   As mentioned you should always contact a licensed lawyer if you want actual legal advice. 
  5. Are my ideas for my games going to get them sued?

      You seem to be mixing patents with trademarks.   I did cross over from patents to trademarks, but i think it works.  1) video game patents are usually very narrow in what they cover so most developers wont run into these. 2) The conversation had gotten on to patents but the OP is more likely to hit trademark and copyright problems than patent problems. 
  6. Duplicate Project Name

        So I guess that I am pretty safe, right? (Regardless the team has already decided to go with "time rider" unless there is any super good reason not to.)         There is never any perfect guarantee you are safe, but as things normally go you are pretty clear.
  7. Legalities around words / phrases / names?

    That book is in the public domain now. The author died in 1896, 120 years ago.       Haha ok bad example.  It was just the first historical fiction book i could think of.  Ok then if I copied "Gone with the Wind". Mitchell has only been dead for 67 years so that one is still covered. 
  8. copyright 2

    For trade marks there are four categories:   Generic - name of a particular genus or class Descriptive - identifies a characteristic or quality Suggestive - implies a characteristic Arbitrary - bears no relationship to the product   The top of the list is considered the "weakest" trademark where the bottom is the strongest.  You can trade mark any of the bottom three. Generic means boils down to the fact that you are using a word that has to be used to describe the product. If I made pencils and my brand name was "pencils"  I would not be able to trademark it because the word is part of what the product is.  But if i called them "Smooth Pencils" that could be descriptive, so I might be able to get a trademark on the phrase (not the individual words), "writer's sword" would probably be suggestive, and something like "Soccer Balls"  would be arbitrary. Even though soccer ball is a generic word it has nothing to do with pencils so I would have a trademark on PENCILS CALLED SOCCER BALLS, not the phrase soccer ball.    With the constructions company called "Wall" that is a suggestive name so it would be trademarkable.    It is impossible to completely eliminate all risk of lawsuits.  The point of worrying about laws is to avoid a large or even medium chance of a lawsuit. Ususally knowing what the laws are and common sense will be enough to avoid troubles.
  9. Duplicate Project Name

    Since the titles are not exactly the same, the medias are different and there is little chance of confusion. You SHOULD probably be good.  One thing to note is since it is from the 1980's there is a chance the trademark has expired.  A trademark must be in active commerce for it to remain valid.  (there is some small leway on that but it is usually only for a short hiatus or you are preparing to bring it to market and paid the trademark office and reserved it)  Since it is a B rate movie it may have been dropped from being sold.  Check here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:v4au11.1.1     I think you should be fine (you should always consult a licensed lawyer if you wan to be sure.)  But becareful of copyright law.  That does not expired just because of non-use.  So if your game is too similar to the movie you might get a take down notice on that front. 
  10. Free for non-commercial use

      What Frob said is right.  I would also add that a good idea is to go pay for a service that does the same thing you want to do and see what they do.  Pick a service that would actually have the budget to hire a lawyer and do it right.  There are some antivirus programs that would qualify but try to pick something in the same field as you. creative commons publishes some license that might work for you. 
  11. Legalities around words / phrases / names?

    Baal run is should be fine.  The term was created by gamers to describe something in game (I could be wrong on my history so feel free to correct me) so it is not owned by Blizzard. I doubt Blizzard trademarked the village names because the game is not making money just because of the name of a village, but if they created unique names then its possible. Also names like "rouge encampment" would be even harder to trademark because it is a descriptive term.  (Can always ask a licensed lawyer if you want to be sure.)  But using them is defiantly evidence of copyright infringement since it is a similarity between the two games.  That being said anything that is taken from history is not* copyrightable.  So if you use the name Athens, you are fine.  or even the name Baal, since those are historic references.  So remember: unique names - don't use; historical or descriptive terms - generally ok.      *Historic things are not copyrightable but the expression of them are.  So I can write my own historical fictional book about the slaves in early america I'm good., but if i copy uncle toms cabin I would be in trouble.    Feel free to look up trade marks here:   http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:v4au11.1.1
  12. Security breach laws are mostly  governed by state laws.  Here is a very useful summary you can use to know IF you have to disclose the breach and what you have to do about it.  http://www.steptoe.com/assets/htmldocuments/SteptoeDataBreachNotificationChart.pdf. please note that you have to obey any state laws in which you do business.   Which means if you are selling something on steam you have to obey all 50.  The easist way to do this is find the most restrictive and then follow that one. 
  13. Unsure of What is Intellectual Property in Games

    Here is a simple break down:   Copyright - Original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.  Tangible being a very inclusive term (basically anything that can communicate the work is tangible).  Basically to for copyright to be valid it just needs to be original. Words and short phrases are not copyrightable. No need to register but it helps   Patent - Any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement.  This one is the most protective, but shortest right (still 20 years).  This one will can trump copyright at times, so if you make something useful and artistic (like a cool looking bike rack) you may be able to only get a patent if it is more useful than artistic. Have to register to get protection   Trademark - This is actually a general term that includes trademarks, service marks, certification marks, collective marks, and trade dress.  These include any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination that you use with a bona fide intent to use it in commerce. Have to register to get protection. 
  14. Are my ideas for my games going to get them sued?

    If you want to know which patents you game might infringe you need to talk with a licensed IP lawyer.  You can try to search google patents but you would need to be good enough at searching that you know you have found all relevant patents AND you know how to read them to understand what they cover.   As far as you game goes it is OK to cover basic game play (otherwise there would only be a coupe side scrollers)  so if you want to make a game where a 2D hero is on a side scroller and can play with 3D effects to change things then you would be fine.  but make him an Italian plumber and now you are getting on the wrong side of things.  Basically you have to view the game in two categories, game play and unique game content (characters, names, images, exact story plot).  The first category is USUALLY just fine to use where as the second is a danger zone for the most part.  Unfortunately there is no bright line of when you went to far so just try to be careful. 
  15. Do I need a patent

    As people have said. Patents are not for video games generally. (They absolutely exist but what is actually patent-able is a little nuanced https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent#United_States).   There are some situations where you can get a patent, but unless you are designing a new game engine it is unlikely you would need that protection.  If you live in the US you get free copyright protection as soon as you create you work.  Registering you work only "strengthens"  you claims if you need to sue someone. 
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