Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: bdg315 on Mar 7th, 2004, 4:40pm)

Title: Protecting a game
Post by bdg315 on Mar 7th, 2004, 4:40pm
Is it possible to own a game?  For example, horseshoes or crocket…  If I created a set of rules for a game, is it possible to patent the game?  I assume I can trademark the name of the game, and copyright the rules.  I am wondering if there is anything else I should consider.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Title: Re: Protecting a game
Post by Isaac Clark on Mar 7th, 2004, 7:20pm
It is certainly possible to patent a game.   For example a search of the USPTOs website will show patents for countless card games.  I've drafted one application for a casino game.

Copyright protection for the instructions probably would not accomplish very much because a person trying to clone your game can express the method of play without copying the particular expression you use.    Easily worked around.

Trademark protection would prevent someone from calling the game by the name you chose.   Seems like a good idea.

You may be able to take advantage of copyright protection for whatever game pieces are used in the game (game board, cards etc.)

Title: Re: Protecting a game
Post by M_Arthur_Auslander on Mar 8th, 2004, 5:37am
Dear bdg315,

While it is possible to patent a game, the usual problem is to have a game that can be monopolized by a patent. This is seldom possible.

As already pointed out trade mark and copyright may be the best protection for a game that is popular. MONOPOLY is a perfect example of a game that lives on.

If you are not in the game business you are going to find it hard, even if you get a patent, copyright or trademark.

Marketing is usually an important factor. This usually requires skill and money. I believe that it is very difficult to sell a game idea even if you had a patent or copyright.

I'm sure you would have to pay a fortune to buy the MONOPOLY game and trademark today even though there are similar games on the market.

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