How to Patent a Video Game Idea: Everything You Need to Know
If you're wondering how to patent a video game idea, you should know there are hundreds upon hundreds of games created and launched each day.3 min read
If you're wondering how to patent a video game idea, you should know there are hundreds upon hundreds of games created and launched each day. The alleged strength of patents for game ideas has changed over time as advancement in technology has opened a whole new array of claims of infringement.
Unfortunately, being the first to have an idea about a video game isn't enough to lay stake to it: it takes a lot of work and effort to turn the idea to into a real game. You need to do a lot of market research to validate your idea has potential profit, and it is critically important that you protect your idea by way of a patent.
How to Create a Game
Creating a game can be a complex process. The concept of the idea is just the beginning and almost certainly the easiest part. There are no guarantees, but if things go in your favor, you will be able to create, market, and sell a popular game and your hard work will pay off.
Properly protecting your idea is critical from beginning to end. There are laws that exist to help protect your idea, but it is important for you to know the basics and proceed accordingly. Just as the creation of a game is a process, protecting your idea involves multiple steps as well.
Does a Person Need a Patent for a Video Game?
Patents are registered through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Basically, a patent is designed to protect your idea/invention from being copied. During development, a patent ensures no one can take your idea and use it as their own. Registered copyrights are another form of legal protection. While patents refer to the protection of an idea/invention, a copyright will protect the expression of an idea.
How Do Patents Provide Protection?
States will vary in the protection they offer in a trademark. A trademark will mark and identify the creation as yours, such as the name or logo you have assigned to your creation. By registering your brand's name or logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you are provided with national protection.
Company trade secrets protect business information that is intended to stay confidential. This could be a secret ingredient in a recipe or a certain manufacturing method of a product. States will vary in the punishment they enforce when people try to use a trade secret.
Patents on the concepts of new games do provide a variety of legal protection, but as technology's fundamentals change, patent laws evolve. Creators are now capable of patenting a variety of video game components, such as the methods and processes performed by a game.
Design patents protect the decorative designs associated with a game. From the onscreen logo to the distinct characteristics of a game console, a design patent is granted as legal protection.
Is It a Good Idea to Create a Game?
Most kids, at one time or another, have dreamed of creating their own video game. Today, the video game business is highly competitive, and this makes it incredibly difficult to market new games and ideas that have a potential to be a success and a moneymaker.
Inventions often build upon the work of others, but if one fresh idea that sets the game apart from others is added, it is very likely a patentable concept.
In determining if there is an infringement, courts will look at the whole work and design of a game and then take it apart element by element. They will then look at it as a combination of its parts.
How Can a Person Obtain a Patent for a Game Idea?
Patents are normally obtained by filling out an application with proper claims and drawings. You file the application and then wait to see if you are asked to respond to amendments. Patents can be expensive and often involve additional fees. You must consider various expenses before you invest in a patent. It's usually in your best interest to hire an agent who has experience in patent video game ideas. The process takes time and knowledge, and with an experienced agent, you are much more likely to be successful.
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