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Zachary Rich

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  1. Zachary Rich

    About Copying Game Mechanic...

    Careful citing older patents, since Alice Corp. CLS Bank International was deiced getting a patent for software is incredibly difficult, and some of these patents you cited can be challenged and throw out because of the courts holding.
  2. Zachary Rich

    Copyright question

    the so here is a lot of miss information on this topic regarding trademarks and I would like to clear up a lot of it. Let's start why you should trademark your game. A trademark identified a single source of goods or services, in other words, your trademark is your brand. To get a registered trademark you must meet two general requirements. 1. The mark must be distinctive. 2. Your mark must be used in interstate commerce. Now I can spend hours talking about the distinctiveness of a mark, as generally speaking this is one of the most difficult parts of any trademark registration. Distinctiveness is the ability of your brand to identify you as the single source of goods or services. Interstate Commerce, is much easier to achieve, as long as you've made one sale of your goods or services using your mark to someone outside of the current state your in your achieved interstate commerce. Now it was mentioned that your brand must be well known before filing a trademark, and this is simply not true. If your mark lacks distinctiveness, then yes you need what's called secondary meaning to register the mark. Registering your brand as a federal trademark with the USPTO comes with a multitude of advantages when it comes to enforcing your rights. A registered trademark carries with it evidence that your trademark is valid and you or your company have ownership of that mark. Additional registration advantages include the nationwide use of the mark, statutory removers for infringement claims such as treble damages and recovery of attorney’s fees and costs, the right to use ®, and after 5 years your mark can become incontestable. For brand owners of goods, after registration, you may file your mark(s) with US Customs to stop the importation of infringing/counterfeit goods. If any questions about trademarks or other forms of IP send me a message would love to talk more about it.
  3. Zachary Rich

    About Copying Game Mechanic...

    Julie nailed it. You cannot copyright an idea or a concept. The code to that mechanic can be copyrighted, so as long as your developing the same concept or mechanic without using the same code or assets generally speaking you'll be fine.
  4. Zachary Rich

    Do most indies form companies?

    I cannot stress the importance of incorporating if your going to start selling your game, entering into agreements with contractors, or generally turning your passion into an actual business. Depending on the state your in, incorporation for an LLC is not the expensive in the long run, and provides get pass-through tax benefits especially when you can write off equipment and software. (check with your tax advisor) Additionally, incorporation provides you protection of your personal assets, no one wants to be sued personally for something their company did, why risk your livelihood?
  5. Hi Everyone, My name is Zac Rich I am the founding partner of Press Start Legal, a law firm created for providing legal services in a digital age. Our Clients range from video game developers and publishers, tech startups, online and e-commerce businesses, content creators and social media influencers. My practice areas include marketing and advertising law, privacy law, intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights) and contracts. Ask me Anything! Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be considered legal advice, everything posted here is my general opinion as facts of your case may vary. This post does not create an Attorney-Client relationship, and as such, I strongly advise you do not post anything confidential. If you have a question you don't feel comfortable asking here, please direct message me or we can set up a free consultation.
  6. Zachary Rich

    Advice needed

    NOA goes above and beyond for protecting their IP. Regardless of what you call the game, if the assets resembles that of SMB expect to get a C/D and maybe an infringement lawsuit. For most companies, legal is a non-revnue producing department, its actually the opposite. The said for NOA, and there iconic characters they will pull the C/D and demand as quick as their legal can type it out. As its been said already, if you want to publish the game remove the infringing assets. A games concept is not an IP that can be protected, so you can still have a platform game where you jump on enemies to defeat them. Just make sure that character and the enemies look and sound nothing like any NOA protected character. Side note, avoid anything Disney owns as well.
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