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I need help with copyright/patent

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Anonymous

Hi all.
I have designed an awesome card game, and i need to know how to get it copyrighted (patent). I am talking about casinos, not Wal-mart. If anybody can help me or give me a link somewhere i can get help, i would be happy about it. Thanx again. Please send me the information to following e-mail: ajamchiro@sbcglobal.net or post them here. Thank you, and have a g-day the

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I need help with copyright/patent

Please do not email your answers (or request that they be emailed), but instead share them with the group so that current and future readers can benefit as well. Thanks.

That said, there are about 15 different threads here on copyrighting and/or patenting your game. Click the "Search" link just above these messages and enter either "copyright" or "patent" for a list of them.

While casino games may seem different, I'm certain that the same rules apply.

-- Matthew

doho123
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Joined: 07/21/2008
I need help with copyright/patent

Actually, most of the casino type things that gets patented are the kinds of things that everyone agrees with aren't worth the time patenting in board game world. The real issue is that there's SOOOO much money to be made off of a successful patent in the casino world, that it's worth your time to chase someone down on it, where as the profit on board games is so meager, chasing a patent isn't worth your time and money.

http://www.uspto.gov/ is the link to the patent/trademark database where you can easily search patent regarding anything.

Joe_Huber
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I need help with copyright/patent

FastLearner wrote:
While casino games may seem different, I'm certain that the same rules apply.

Actually, I don't think they do - the advice I've seen here and there for casino games is very different from that I've seen for traditional games. Not having any interest in casino games, I have no idea if it's _right_, but I definitely wouldn't assume the same rules...

Joe

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I need help with copyright/patent

The copyright office's PDF FL-108, about games, doesn't make a distinction. How would playing a game vs. playing a game for money make a difference in intellectual property protection?

Mechanical devices like slot machines and such are obviously different.

Hmm. I'd be quite curious to find out if there's something inherent in gambling games that allows for additional protection. Time to FGI, I suppose.

-- Matthew

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
I need help with copyright/patent

doho123 wrote:
Actually, most of the casino type things that gets patented are the kinds of things that everyone agrees with aren't worth the time patenting in board game world. The real issue is that there's SOOOO much money to be made off of a successful patent in the casino world, that it's worth your time to chase someone down on it, where as the profit on board games is so meager, chasing a patent isn't worth your time and money.

Sounds like you can make a lot of money designing casino games. That reminds me, have you donated to the BGDF lately? =P

-Darke

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
I need help with copyright/patent

FastLearner wrote:
How would playing a game vs. playing a game for money make a difference in intellectual property protection?

It might not make a difference for the legal rules, but it will make a differnece in enforcement.

A patent lawsuit will easily cost $50k, and could be 10 times that. How many games do you know of that bring in that much in profits to the designers? Board gaming is a fairly small hobby and there just isn't the money to fight a law suit. Casinos on on the other hand are a huge industry and there is plenty of money to fight law suits.

Despite what the RIAA would have you believe, there are not elite government soldiers just waiting to raid anyone who breaks copyright. It is a civil matter; if someone steals your IP, it's up to you to foot the bill in defending it. It's the RIAA suing all those music sharers, not the government.

Jason

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I need help with copyright/patent

You can copyright the rules, arts and software programs.
You can patent a machine and more recently software algorithm. (I find it strange to be able to patent this, but that's another story).

You don't have to register a Copyright, but it's recommended. The copyright apply immediatly when you put a (c) sign in the document. A copyright is mostly valid through the world. The copyright is valid 25 years after your death. (75 years in the state now I think. Thanks Disney)

You have to register a patent. Wait many years for its approval, and after that you have a 20 years exclusive use of it. You have to register the patent in every countries.

Oracle is right in his assement. If you create a good game and copyright it. If a Casino is using this game in Hong Kong, it is your responsibility alone to sue them on a civil matter. It's going to be a real pain in the #%&!@*.

Please don't take my advise has a golden rule. As a patent lawyer if you need this and how you can protect yourself the best. I wish you the best, but in the world of publishing, I think it's mostly not in the favor of the Game Designer.

Have a good day.

doho123
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Joined: 07/21/2008
I need help with copyright/patent

I guess I should clarify some things.

First of all, my REAL JOB is actually creating new and innovative (patentable) game concepts for the casino industry. You can see some of the stuff I do at the following link:ledgaming.com. So I am very familiar with the whole concept of patenting gaming/gambling ideas.

Ultimately, at our company (all 3 of us), we are really truly looking to do some thing new and unique. However, for most of the industry, "new and unique" is a pretty subjective term, as virtually everyone applies for patents everything now, no matter how uninspired the thing is. And really, anyone CAN apply for a patent on anything; you just have to take into consideration A)how much money are you willing to throw at it and B)how much money are you willing to spend protecting it.

There's also a lot of slack in terms of getting a patent awarded based on who is actually is assigned to your application, as each "patent-checker" has their own definition of unique and un-obvious. And then there's the constant revisions it takes to narrow your claims, or taking your argument to the person of above in the chain of command if you don't like the resolutions of the patent-checker. And the whole process can take years. And years. And years. To a huge corporation, shoveling paperwork and trying to get a patent on any little thing is maybe cost effective; as a little guy, you pick your battles.

Other things to notice when trying to patent something is that you be do your homework on prior art. You have to find everything, and I mean everything, that you could possibly be infringing on and get that into your patent (regardless if the prior art has been patented or not). If your patent is granted, with all of the prior art, it just makes your patent stronger, since the patent office has checked all those things out and has determined that you don't infringe on those items. Of course, this will mean that you (or your lawyer) will be spending a lot of time rewording things to avoid infringement of that art.

It should be noted that the 20 year protection clock doesn't start when the patent is granted, but generally, when you can prove you came up with the idea. So, if you are planning on chasing someone down on a patent, you BETTER KEEP GOOD LOG BOOKS! And, again, have a wadful of cash to pay the various attorneys you are going to need.

Perhaps, the most annoying thing about the process is how unbalanced the patents that get awarded are. The big things that should be looked at fo awarding a patent are "new, unique, and unobvious." I've seen so many patents go through where basically they are patenting "It's just like this previously released bonus game, but instead of picking squares, you are picking circles," while truly unique things sit forever in arguments.

If you're bored , here's some of the patents that I was involved in:
6,612,927
6,159,098
6,482,089
6,769,983

and some applications:
20030073480
20040043809
20030022710
20020132658
20020160827

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
I need help with copyright/patent

RookieDesign wrote:

You have to register a patent. Wait many years for its approval, and after that you have a 20 years exclusive use of it. You have to register the patent in every countries.

I don't believe this to be true. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but with countries we have trade agreements with, or countries with whom we share membership in a trade alliance, our patent laws extend to those countries as well. For that reason, if we patent something here, someone in Great Britain couldn't just steal it verbatim and start selling it there as there own. As a courtesy, Britain observes our laws with regard to such matters and vice versa. Any know the official skinny on this?

-Darke

doho123
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Joined: 07/21/2008
I need help with copyright/patent

Quote:
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but with countries we have trade agreements with, or countries with whom we share membership in a trade alliance, our patent laws extend to those countries as well. For that reason, if we patent something here, someone in Great Britain couldn't just steal it verbatim and start selling it there as there own. As a courtesy, Britain observes our laws with regard to such matters and vice versa. Any know the official skinny on this?

From what I've seen, the ONLY way to protect your patents in other countries is to file them in all the other countries that you are worried about. The guy who invented Triple Play Poker never patented it outside of the U.S. And now, there is very little he can do about everyone knocking off his game around the world except in the U.S. These companies in other countries cannot import the game in the U.S, but it is meaningless to try and stop the placement of these games in other countries.

And further complicating this (software, and/or method IP), is the whole internet problem; trying to chase down people running servers with patented games who could be anyway is a whole 'nother problem.

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