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Game name

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scopa
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Joined: 09/29/2008

I've nearly finished a game design and, working with my co-designer, have got a title for it. I've now looked on bgg and can see that there was a game with this name produced in the 1970's although it looked to have vanished without trace as no one has made any comments about it. So, do I continue with using the same name or invent another? Anyone know how I stand legally if I use the same name?

CardboardAddict
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Game name

Let me give you the same answer anybody else here would give you:
if you want to produce the game yourself, you'll have to worry about
how legal it is to capture the name. You should contact the Chamber
of Commerce for further intel. If you, however, only want to send a
prototype to a publisher, there's nothing wrong. The publisher always
has a right to change the prototypes name when necessary, so you
wouldn't have to worry about this.

Hedge-o-Matic
Hedge-o-Matic's picture
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Joined: 07/30/2008
Game name

It's my understanding that titles of works are not protected by copyright law. A good example is the title "Frozen Fire", a cliche that keeps being reused. My copyright law classes (long ago) used this as an example, showing the twelve books by that name, all (at that time) currently in print and under copyright protection.

Trademarked names are different, of course, but few games trademark their names. If the company is gone, and the game has vanished from memory, you do away with name confusion, and most risk that someone will object. For someone to object to your use of a name they used already, they 1.) would have to have a currently valid trademark, 2.) still be in a position to muster the will and finances to commit to legal action, and 3.) notice your game at all. Each of these is a longshot, and combined, I'm going to offer the opinion that you're going to be okay with using the title you've got.

scopa
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Joined: 09/29/2008
Game name

Thank you very much for the replies. Looks like we're sticking with our name.

larienna
larienna's picture
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Game name

From what I have read, I think copyright stand for around 15 to 25 years, then if you want, you can renew the copyright each time for up to a maximum of 75 year ( for old work ) or 95 years for recent work.

I don't know I it covers names. On my point of view, the name should somewhat be included in the copyrights.

By the way, how do you know if it is a trademarked name? I guess it is the "tm" beside the name tells it all.

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