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What hapens if I invent variation on owned game?

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scifiantihero
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Hehe.

You just cited wikipedia as a source in an argument.

:)

metzgerism
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scifiantihero wrote:You just

scifiantihero wrote:
You just cited wikipedia as a source in an argument.

:)

It's only disallowed if you are in college AND you get caught by the teacher.

scifiantihero
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Heh.

When I teach highschool it's totally going to be disallowed there too!

:D

Armydillo978
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scifiantihero wrote:When I

scifiantihero wrote:
When I teach highschool it's totally going to be disallowed there too!

:D

But, with enough references, it should allowed. :)

scifiantihero
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Mmm

So they can go look up the references and use those!

:)

Karlo
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Me too

I'm glad I ran into this thread -- I've also been wondering about what to do with an "improved re-imagining" of an existing game. In the case I'm thinking of, it would be independent of the original, and it merely has remarkably similar game play. I guess I'd better start thinking of a new name, since prefixing the existing one with "Super-" would probably be considered a trademark violation.

InvisibleJon
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Super!

Karlo wrote:
prefixing the existing one with "Super-" would probably be considered a trademark violation.
You're probably correct...

SuperJenga!
SuperMonopoly!
SuperHungry Hungry Hippos!

...Yeah. That sounds like an invitation for a lawsuit.

boardgameguru
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Guess

OK so

I wil ltell you its new card characters printed on card for Hasbro Guess Who game.
So with my own artwork I should be safe right?

scifiantihero
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Mwahahaha

Now that I've convinced you to reveal your secret, I am totally stealing it!

*cough*

In all seriousness . . . does that mean you are just going to sell a deck of cards with pictures on them? I imagine that's pretty safe, as long as you don't connect it with the product (as many have said).

Some hardcore guess who players out there, I guess!

apeloverage
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scifiantihero wrote:In all

scifiantihero wrote:
In all seriousness . . . does that mean you are just going to sell a deck of cards with pictures on them? I imagine that's pretty safe, as long as you don't connect it with the product (as many have said).

Thus far no one's supplied any references to show this isn't OK, and I've provided a few references and examples which (as far as I can see) show that it is.

I wish people wouldn't just guess about legal stuff!

Yes, I referenced Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia. isn't 100% guaranteed to be reliable. But it's much better than pulling law out of the air.

guildofblades
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>>In all seriousness . . .

>>In all seriousness . . . does that mean you are just going to sell a deck of cards with pictures on them? I imagine that's pretty safe, as long as you don't connect it with the product (as many have said).<<

As long as they didn't connect it with the product, then yeah, that would be pretty safe. Pretty hard to claim a product is infringing or a derivative if no one can tell what its for and there are no references as such.

But then how do you sell it? I imagine its pretty difficult to simply sell some cards with pictures on them with no connection to any other product and no explanation as to what they would be used for. Maybe the consumer can make the intuitive leap, but man, that just sounds unlikely.

>>I wish people wouldn't just guess about legal stuff!<<

Indeed. That's what lawyers that are well versed on the subject matter are for. They should be consulted before you dare publish anything that might infringe on another's IP or which law in a gray area where fair use rights may be involved. Unless you like being sued, that is.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

metzgerism
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guildofblades wrote:But then

guildofblades wrote:
But then how do you sell it? I imagine its pretty difficult to simply sell some cards with pictures on them with no connection to any other product and no explanation as to what they would be used for. Maybe the consumer can make the intuitive leap, but man, that just sounds unlikely.

Agreed. Especially for a game like Guess Who, which (while we all recognize it) is not really going to command the market status that many Eurogames and other Hasbro entities does.

I think the best you can hope for is to protect your idea as best as possible (see also "lawyer"), claim copyright protection on the characters that you create for the game, and then send it to Hasbro as a "game expansion." If they outright steal the idea, you probably don't have much of a case. If they outright steal the CHARACTERS, you might have something there, but their lawyers are better than your lawyers and they can claim that the basic game concept is theirs. Again, the law is complex and I don't understand a lot of it, so ask someone more versed in IP law.

The other route is to independently publish the characters as a game expansion, without referencing Guess Who? at all. This method will likely result in low sales, and potentially a cease and desist or even a flat out lawsuit. High risk, low reward, to be sure.

I hate to be the one to squash your dreams, but the idea has no legs. The question (and thread) bring up VERY GOOD concerns, so keep these in mind for your next concept...which you should start working on right now.

boardgameguru
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Wonder

I wondered all along how to orpmote this with Guess Who.

I was wondering to just make the whole game as I see a few variations on Guess Who with own titles

I think this idea is good for standalone game and I think I was Chad Valley make one however I do not know if they had to lease the rights from Hasbro or just made it?

larienna
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Quote:YOU GAME MUST BE

Quote:
YOU GAME MUST BE PLAYABLE ALL BY ITSELF.

Or

IF ITS NOT> THEN IT MUST BE AN ACCESSORY TYPE PRODUCT THAT CAN FEASIBLY (and arguably, arguable in court) BE USED AS AN ACCESSORY TO MULTIPLE DIFFERENT BRANDS.

Let say I make my own magic the gathering cards set and I write on the pack: Compatible with magic the gathering. I rewrite entirely the rules, maybe change a few, and I do not use any templates or graphics from the original game.

Which mean that the game is playable by itself.

But I don't think that is legal, because WOTC even attacked people who made cards editors to make free cards.

guildofblades
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>>Let say I make my own magic

>>Let say I make my own magic the gathering cards set and I write on the pack: Compatible with magic the gathering. I rewrite entirely the rules, maybe change a few, and I do not use any templates or graphics from the original game.

Which mean that the game is playable by itself.

But I don't think that is legal, because WOTC even attacked people who made cards editors to make free cards.<<

Well, with Magic, if you want to make Magic "comptaible" cards, you would have to copy their card backs which would violate their copyright on that design (or require the use of card sleeves and make your own back) and likely need to copy their trade dress on the card template designs for the card fronts.

Further, while this still is very much a gray area, personally having published "variants" of some games and navigated these issues, I personally would steer clear of using the word "Compatible". It does not strictly suggest for use with and only for use with, leaving open the possibility of expanded potential use in other ways, its one closer link to the existing IP and would give their lawyers and angle to argue it was a derivative work.

Also, if one wants to publis a Magic clone, they do actually have a patent as well. So even if you make your own backs, change the template designs on th card fronts, don't use their artwork, change the mana symbols to be other artwork, there remains the certain need to violate the patent in the making of either a clone or anything that is "comptaible". That patent certainly complicated any efforts at making a compatible or variant. Any "variant" design would have to be variant enough to bypass the aspects of the game design which are patented.

Unless you have a nice little fortune and think it would be worth it to challenge the validity of the patent. Having read it, I don't think it would survive a strong challeng in court. Mayhaps a reason WOTC has never chosen to use it as a hammer.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

larienna
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Of course, wizards of the

Of course, wizards of the coast also have a patent which might not have been a good example since they are more protected.

solomonsthoughts
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boardgameguru - Answer

Hi - I am the CEO of Solomon's Thoughts, Inc., I came across your post/questions because I was researching Jenga variations. We have 4 new and exciting variations on the game. I have been a game inventor for twenty years and an agent to the industry for 7. I worked with Hasbro brass for years and want to say that the negative posts here concerning your questions, while in some cases hold water, DON'T LISTEN TO THEM. And granted, while chances are low for a licensing agreement, never give up. If someone else can do it so can you. Never ever listen to the odds. The difference between those that make it happen with a licensing Agreement and those that don't are that they never gave up.

I would be more than happy to assist anyone who needs help. We will sign your NDA or you can use ours.

Cheers,

RDR
Solomon's Thoughts, Inc.
solomonsthoughts at g mail dot com

boardgameguru
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Publish?

When will your Jenga variations be published?

solomonsthoughts
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talk of GUESS WHO

I see there is talk of variations of GUESS WHO. Here is my story of that. I have been an "A" list Agent for years with them so I send or visit and pitch all the time. Anyhow, about 10 years ago I sent them a new GUESS WHO game. It was a WHO, WHAT WHERE game - sort of a combination of GUESS WHO AND CLUE. One row was the person (murder) the second row was the the weapon and the third was the place.

They said thanks but no thanks and and came out with GUESS WHERE as a totally separate game. Did they steal the idea? Maybe maybe not. Most likely they didn't. But my short sightedness for all variations of the new concept made my potential standings fall a bit short...

The funny thing here is that years ago they didn't want anything that would cannibalize existing sales of flagship games. Then all they wanted to do was slap licensed cartoon characters on their flagship games. Now all they do IS cannibalize their games...well, really just the name for the most part. Which is smart - it's called Branding. A good thing as long as it is not over done.

I am sure the wheels will turn 180 soon and they will want stand alone product as long as it is BRILLIANT, cheap to make and makes a lot of money.

RDR
Solomon's Thoughts, Inc.

boardgameguru
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Steal

That definitely sounds as if they got one over you sorry bout that for your sake.

Now Im thinking I can come out with my own product with plastic design older for cards and not call it anything near Guess Who.

If only I had the money to do it.

Also your idea crossing with Cluedo was quite ingenious I think and better variation on game play.
I dont want to sound double crossing but,
Can I use it for mine? :)))))))
I wonder how you worked out the characters for that game? as the permutations are so vast to to do that
For instance old lady purple hair with spanner in library.
P.S It would be interesting to see your Jenga variations how thy work when you get them published or hopefully you get them licenced this time.
Also I just found Pressman make and sell this
http://boardgames.com/guthpoga.html

AND they have WHo is it see on their website in games which is exactly the same as Guess Who
Ello?Anyone care to respond about the Pressman game versions ow they can do that?

boardgameguru
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Answers

Solomonsthoughts
You may be on holiday but Please answer the questions in my immediate above post.
Especially about my discovery of University games publishing a diret clone of Guess Who you can see on their website.
Plus the very interesting Jenga variations to shed some light when they will be available and what the names of the games are.
Thanks

truekid games
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*i am not a lawyer* design

*i am not a lawyer*

design patents only last 14 years, i believe. even if it was granted an extension (which i'm not sure game designs are even eligible for), it's been 30 years since it was originally published. now, the copyright and trademark on the name "guess who?" would still be in effect, but a renamed and possibly slightly rules-tweaked version of the game is probably well outside of any kind of patent violation.

having said that, this wouldn't stop them from -trying- to sue someone for it. however bgg lists pressman as a publisher of guess who, so it's likely that the game is either clearly in public domain or that they licensed it from the current "owner", just like they licensed pokemon for it.

boardgameguru
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HMM

Thanks for that

Prhaps I should actually email University games and ask them they obviously know the full thing but thats good info

rpghost
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What about board shape?

I'm personally interested in redoing an old game from my childhood that as a child I had modified heavly. But it uses a board much LIKE the classic game Battleship. The game is Pathfinder ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2884 ) printed in the 50's and again in the 70's. Would a mechical board simular to that be allowed to be recreated? How could you find out if anyone had a patten on it?

James
http://www.MinionGames.com

JuniorGolfUK (not verified)
Its very helpful for me and

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daibhre
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Parodies are OK

"Run for your life, Candyman!"
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/18064
= a "Parody" of CandyLand, and apparently OK with the copyright lawyers.
(I hear they have a new one that's a parody of "Chutes & Ladders" also.)

drewdane
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Chutes and ladders is a different story.

Chutes and ladders is a very thinly veiled rework of Snakes and Ladders, which is an ancient game! It is most definitely public domain. (However, the name "Chutes and Ladders" is a registered trademark .)

dannorder
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Looks like I missed this

Looks like I missed this reply when you made it...

guildofblades wrote:
But...a module printed specifically "for use with" Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, not taking advantage of their new system license that allows such, would almost certainlt be ruled a derivative product if challenged in court and become their IP.

That's just nonsense. Lots of products are sold as compatible with other products. Copyright law in no way prohibits accessories to items sold by other companies. This has been shown time and time again in actual court cases, and there have been plenty of modules for Dungeons & Dragons that were published by companies other than TSR/WOTC and did so without having to follow any license or anything.

guildofblades wrote:
Know your rights.

Exactly. And don't let any self-declared expert on the topic scare you off from taking advantage of your rights.

larienna
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Oh! really

Quote:
Chutes and ladders is a very thinly veiled rework of Snakes and Ladders, which is an ancient game! It is most definitely public domain. (However, the name "Chutes and Ladders" is a registered trademark .)

In french we called it "snakes and ladder". Since everybody said that in english it is called "chutes and ladder", I thought it was only a traduction issue.

I think that would be the same for Reversi and Othello.

solomonsthoughts
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been gone but here is your answer:

Hello sorry for the long delay. I have not been back to this forum in some time. I think you got your answer in later posts below mine. Another reason: Because they realize that it can cost upwards of half a million dollars in federal court to fight a law suit. recoup time might not be worth the loss in market share. I can tell you to stay away from the biggest offender Cardinal Games. They ripped me off big time on my Jenga Game.

As far as the other Jenga designs - sorry that is IP. We may end up doing the games ourselves under a different name.

As far a University Games? Bob Moog (the top dog) is a really nice guy. You should be able to approach his company with out an agent. he doesn't pay up front royalties though. In New Orleans he once asked me to be his joke writer!

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