Registering a game

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Registering a game

Postby MaxCarna » Sat, 16Nov05 16:01

Hi friends,

How do you register your game's name?

When you got some name idea for a game, where we can found if is already on use, and if isn't how register it?
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Re: Registering a game

Postby tlaero » Sat, 16Nov05 17:34

Do you mean something government official like a copyright or a trademark? Or are you just talking about in a community like the lagoon?

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Re: Registering a game

Postby MaxCarna » Sat, 16Nov05 21:39

Weel, if you know how both works...

Like a trademark if envolve costs or much bureaucracy maybe don't worth it.

How you did with names like "Redemption for Jessica", "Life with Keeley" and so on? They are already in many sites.

There is a chance of somebody appears saying "Hey, this is name is registered?"

Thank you
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Re: Registering a game

Postby Skelaturi » Sat, 16Nov05 22:49

MaxCarna wrote:Weel, if you know how both works...

Like a trademark if envolve costs or much bureaucracy maybe don't worth it.

How you did with names like "Redemption for Jessica", "Life with Keeley" and so on? They are already in many sites.

There is a chance of somebody appears saying "Hey, this is name is registered?"

Thank you


MaxCarna wrote:Hi friends,

How do you register your game's name?

When you got some name idea for a game, where we can found if is already on use, and if isn't how register it?


No you can't put copyright on titles, however you can trademark it. But the latter does cost so much money, you really shouldn't bother unless you made something really big and profitable. Now does that mean you should use the same title name as someone else? The answer is NO 1. For the user it would cause confusion. For example you made a game called "castle whispers" I would honestly believe it would be sharks then i find out it's another one.

2. Call your game super mario, justice unlimited or Harry potter trainer, and you will get a legal team of big companies on your ass which makes life much more expensive. But fair use of parody is in paly, if you make a parody it's allowed, just don't straight copy things.

3. If wise just don't. Honestly if you would call your game Redemption for Jessika, i personally would come to the aid of Lady T and ban you of these forums into oblivion. Also be creative, be wise and see if you can come up with a great title.

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Re: Registering a game

Postby Mik » Sat, 16Nov05 23:02

Hi Maxcarna,

asked myself the same question, here in Germany I've read about some really strange registred word marks,
like prenames and words that are used in common.
I don't know if I'm too safely with that, but a lot of people seem to search the internet for copyright violations.

Same thing with the use of free 3D stuff that is licensed for non-commercial use.
If you do funding at the evil p-site for your art or your game, does this make it "commercial" ?
I think you will find judges that say yes and others that would say no.
A lot of legal issues are very uncertain in the internet in my opinion, and that your stuff is accessible from
all over the world doesn't make it better

At least I think there are two possibilities, if you plan to publish creative work, take the risk and maybe pay for
copyright claims or pay the same or more money for consulting a lawyer and register some word marks yourself. [img]images/icones/icon12.gif[/img]

Or found yourself an offshore company in a country that doesn't prosecute copyright violations.... [img]images/icones/icon13.gif[/img]
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Re: Registering a game

Postby tlaero » Sun, 16Nov06 00:26

I'm only familiar with the rules in the USA, so assume everything I say only applies here unless someone says otherwise.

Trademarks
Trademarks tend to be used for company names, although some products are trademarked as well. You need to register your trademark with the federal government, pay for it, and pay renewal fees every so many years (I want to say 10, but it may be 5). The internet domain registry has a rule that if two groups claim that they should get a website name (www.somecompany.com) the one that holds the trademark for the company name wins. This was especially important early in the days of the internet, before all the big companies realized that they needed websites. Say that Ford (the car company) hasn't registered www.ford.com yet, and some guy realizes that they're going to need it. So he registers www.ford.com, and then, when Ford tries to get into the game, he tries to sell them the domain name for a million dollars. Since Ford has the trademark, the domain registry would have sided with them.

Trademarks are specific to the type of product you produce and, if you want to cover multiple product types, you have to pay for multiple Trademarks. This is why, before iTunes, Apple Computer and Apple Records each held a trademark on "Apple" even though they are different companies. When the computer company went into music, they had to resolve things with the record company.

If Mortze and I made a lot of money with our games, it might be reasonable to Trademark "Tora Productions" or "Mortze Art." It wouldn't be reasonable to trademark "Dreaming with Elsa" or "DwE," etc. However, super big products ARE trademarked. I'm sure Apple has a trademark on "Macintosh" and "iPhone." Etc.

Copyrights
Copyright is automatic and doesn't need to be registered or paid for. It covers books and movies and music and games, etc. Any game you make is copyrighted, and people can't just copy it. It is definitely the case that my games are Copyrighted and anyone who posts them without my consent is in violation of Copyright law. This is hard to enforce, though. I explicitly give Leonizer permission to post my games and profit on them through advertising. I clearly give Shark the right to hold pointers to my games on the lagoon, since I'm the one who posts them. Same with P a t r e o n. But if some random website posts them, it's pretty gray. What happens when a site with advertising posts a review to one of my games and links to my download site? Theoretically they're benefiting from my game, but it would be hard to claim that they're hurting me by doing so. On the other hand, if someone took one of my games and sold it on an app store or something without sending the money to me, that's a clear violation. This has actually happened to me, and it sucks. But it's hard to fight, especially because I value my anonymity more than any potential revenue from the games. In the end, the only real way to enforce a copyright is through a lawsuit, and it's hard to do that anonymously.

Beyond outright copying, it gets much more gray. If you did a dating game called, "Redemption for Jesika" (one s) about a down on her luck country singer and you're an employee in the DMV who sees her when she comes in to get her driver's license, I think most people would claim you were copying me. On the other hand, if Disney did an animated short called "Dreaming with Elsa" about the princess from Frozen looking to the future with her sister, it would be hard to claim copyright violation.

Patents
Patents cover inventions and must be registered and approved. I don't think they actually cost anything, but you pretty much need a patent lawyer to write the application if you want to have any chance of getting the patent granted. And, if anyone violates your patent, you have to sue them, or your patent is nullified. So they're actually pretty expensive. Patents have a fairly complex set of rules to determine whether they're valid. You can't possibly patent a game or a title, but you could potentially patent some technical aspect of the game. For instance, if the makers of Bioshock invented a great algorithm for rendering water, they might have patented it. But they couldn't patent the game itself.

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Re: Registering a game

Postby Skelaturi » Sun, 16Nov06 01:27

[quote="tlaero"

Patents
Patents cover inventions and must be registered and approved. I don't think they actually cost anything, but you pretty much need a patent lawyer to write the application if you want to have any chance of getting the patent granted. And, if anyone violates your patent, you have to sue them, or your patent is nullified. So they're actually pretty expensive. Patents have a fairly complex set of rules to determine whether they're valid. You can't possibly patent a game or a title, but you could potentially patent some technical aspect of the game. For instance, if the makers of Bioshock invented a great algorithm for rendering water, they might have patented it. But they couldn't patent the game itself.

Tlaero[/quote]

It costs money, at least here in the Netherlands. These are some of the costs involved. And keep in mind, it doesn't always mean you got the patent

The applications and the grant of the patent.
A patent attorney if you turn him / her in the preparation of a patent application or denouncing someone infringes your patent. In court a application written by a patent attorney has a higher rate of succeeding
An investigation into the state of the art.
A translator, if you want to apply in another country the patent. For Sweden, you must submit a Swedish text. Unless you can do it yourself, still a professional is better.
Conservation Taxes to maintain your patent rights. Yes a patent has a expire date. You miss the last day of that rent and Johnny Random can buy it.

keep in mind there is a reason these cost money, cause people cost money. Besides imagine if a application was free. I certainly would apply myself for the paperclip, matches and the internet. Even if I know i wouldn't get it they still would be forced to find out.
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Re: Registering a game

Postby MaxCarna » Sun, 16Nov06 05:03

Well, thank you everybody, for all your explanations

My situation is simple: I'm making a game with two colleges and also want to make my first game. I believe that the name I invented is good, nobody around seens to be using it.

As I'm a novice on this market, I'm afraid that somebody else take the ideia and the name for it. Maybe he could even release it first than I, because I'm not expert, I will take time to get a whole product.

It is also not an exotic name, maybe someone could use the same name coincidently.

How could I "reserve" the name? I know that hardly would be in the legal instance, I am live in Brasil, I won't even mention the burocracy related to something like that.

But if exists any adult games's central, where developers register their idea. Where in shark's forum, for example, in wich topic I could "register" my game idea?

Thank you again
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Re: Registering a game

Postby Mik » Sun, 16Nov06 05:25

I can also speak only for Germany, but it seems, that you can register so called 'word marks' here.
They seem to be related to trademarks, but it is not limited to special fonts or logos with words
or expressions.

Read a very weird thread at a forum of a company that is specialised in printing self desingned t-shirts.
It was about printing prenames on t-shirts and the fact that somebody has word rights for that.

So if somebody register a word mark 'Elsa' for his baby related sleeping products you might violate
his copyright rights with 'Dreaming with Elsa'. :crazy: [img]images/icones/icon14.gif[/img]
(Copyright not meant as the natural granted right for creative work, but as the right to produce
and distribute products with registered marks)

I think the international aspect of the internet make legal stuff at least unpredictable...
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Re: Registering a game

Postby Sarchx » Sun, 16Nov06 09:50

tlaero wrote:Patents
Patents cover inventions and must be registered and approved. I don't think they actually cost anything, but you pretty much need a patent lawyer to write the application if you want to have any chance of getting the patent granted. And, if anyone violates your patent, you have to sue them, or your patent is nullified. So they're actually pretty expensive. Patents have a fairly complex set of rules to determine whether they're valid. You can't possibly patent a game or a title, but you could potentially patent some technical aspect of the game. For instance, if the makers of Bioshock invented a great algorithm for rendering water, they might have patented it. But they couldn't patent the game itself.
Tlaero


Patents costs about 200.000 USD (10 years ago), if you want it worldwide. You can reduce costs, by only applying in the countries you want it. (China and India has special rules). This is the costs for getting the patent, excluding any legal fees you might need, to write the damn thing.

Once granted, it also carries a yearly cost, if you want to continue having it active. (Can't remember how much that was.)

Just to clear it up a bit [img]images/icones/icon10.gif[/img]
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Re: Registering a game

Postby tlaero » Sun, 16Nov06 18:47

That's not correct in the US at least. Here's the current fee schedule for patents.

https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-reso ... e-schedule

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Re: Registering a game

Postby Sarchx » Sun, 16Nov06 20:31

I stand corrected, it's not only for the fee [img]images/icones/icon10.gif[/img]

Normally, you'd also pay for getting checked, if it infringes on other people's patents (thereby making your own invalid), have the scope of your patent checked, etc. etc.
Those are typically Patent Attourney hours, which doesn't come cheaply.
This was the major reason why EU has/is gathering the patent offices in all countries into one (as I understood it).
That way, you only need to file 1 place (and pay for that work once), instead of each country as it was earlier.
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Re: Registering a game

Postby Mimailia » Mon, 16Nov07 12:38

FWIW It should also be noted, that "having" a patent MAY mean nothing to you. My brother holds several patents, but they belong to the company he worked for at the time of the discoveries.

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Re: Registering a game

Postby tlaero » Tue, 16Nov08 04:40

Yeah. I've got 9, but they're really owned by my company. Still, the plaques look cool on my wall. (-:

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Re: Registering a game

Postby Mortze » Tue, 16Nov08 15:21

tlaero wrote:Yeah. I've got 9, but they're really owned by my company. Still, the plaques look cool on my wall. (-:

[img]smile/eek.gif[/img] That's quite impressive! All related to informatics?
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