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copyright search

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Anonymous

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to determine if there already exists a simlar or same game as the one I am currently inventing? How can one do a "copyright search" on his own before consulting with a board game consultant/expert? Thanks for your advice.

Anonymous
hmm

I forget the website, but you can always check the Patent office to see if your games name has been taken. But really I don't think there is a good way to check on a game mechanic without having to search through a database of board games. It's a difficult thing to worry about copyrights :S.

Nando
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Joined: 07/22/2008
copyright search

To answer your question:
Search BGG (boardgamegeek.com).

Beyond that...

Trademark is for titles and game "family" (or "product line") names. Copyright is for rules and graphics. Patent is for game mechanisms.

From what I understand (and I am not a lawyer), you can rip off/copy whatever gameplay elements you want unless the particular element is covered by a patent. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine if the general practice of ripping off other games (patented or otherwise) would be good for the reputation of either the designer or his game.

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about any of it until my game was developed to a playable/distributable condition. Then, before I distributed it outside of limited playtesting groups, I'd make sure I didn't have any unowned or unlicensed artwork in my package and that I wrote the rules in such a manner that I felt confident I would not (and could not successfully) be accused of plagiarism.

Anonymous
oops

Sorry, Trademark is for titles :S. Well I knew what I meant :S. lol. Thanks for the correction.

Anonymous
copyright search

Thanks for the replies. Wow, I cannot believe the website boardgamegeeks! That is incredible by how many games are listed on there! Who on earth put that site together and how did they do it?

Nando, you are in Utah? I live in Draper.

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
copyright search

Quote:
Wow, I cannot believe the website boardgamegeeks! That is incredible by how many games are listed on there! Who on earth put that site together and how did they do it?

Yeah, Boardgamegeeks is great, and has been responsible for the sudden suffocation of many a game idea I thought was wholly original and unique... :)

Quote:
I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine if the general practice of ripping off other games (patented or otherwise) would be good for the reputation of either the designer or his game.

I love this sentence.

~Josh

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