Intellectual Property Forum

Other => Copyright Forum => Topic started by: TheNoobieWaffle on 09-23-17 at 04:16 pm

Title: Can I get in trouble for using unique words/names from other video games?
Post by: TheNoobieWaffle on 09-23-17 at 04:16 pm
I am developing my own video game. I have been looking online about how similar my game could be to other games. It seems that as long as you write your own code and create your own assets even if they resemble some from another game they are yours. No problems there. But here is my question: can I use a word in my game that is a unique word that only appears in one other game/series? For example: the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a race of cat-like humanoids called 'khajit'. The word or an idea of khajit is made by Bethesda, and no one else uses it. Can I use the work Khajit in my own game, or can I get in legal trouble (in the case where I have made my own assets (models, textures) that resembles a cat-like race)?

EDIT: Using TESS, there is no trademark on 'khajit'. There is trademarks on 'the elder scrolls' and 'skyrim'.
Title: Re: Can I get in trouble for using unique words/names from other video games?
Post by: MYK on 09-26-17 at 08:05 am
If you copy major elements of their characters, then yes, they can sue you over it.  The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate was still suing people over writing Sherlock Holmes short stories up until a few years ago;  enough of the copyrights have expired now (as a result of which they lost a major lawsuit) that they are no longer able to protect the characters, and so you are now seeing hundreds of writers doing Holmes stories, most badly.

Copying the names ("khajiit", note spelling) and major visual elements ("cat-like race") would be more than enough to sue you over.  As to whether they would win or not, I wouldn't opine -- but you're still going to be out a few hundred thousand dollars defending yourself.