From simple games someone might play on their smartphone to handheld gaming systems to consoles setup in living rooms, most American enjoy some aspect of playing video games! Lucky for all us, fantastic artists, writers, and game designers work to bring us entertainment that helps us unwind after long days and can keep us occupied while we wait for the bus. But how do those who make video games protect their intellectual property rights? If you’re a creator who works in the video game industry, here are some basics to know about your IPR.
Video Game Patents
Most creative works like films and books tend to be protected primarily by copyright. Video games are a little different in that new video games often include new advancements to technology and programming. Often video game designers will use patents to protect these aspects of their games. Design patents can protect parts of your game like loading screens and character designs. Utility patents tend to protect things like special hardware, like a new console, or a controller.
Video Game Copyrights
That said, copyright can be just as important for video games as it is for movies and music. You can copyright the coding that makes your game work, for example. It can also protect aspects of the game like storylines and background music — the things that make your game uniquely yours. Think about concepts like the user interface or other elements that the player will interact with and you want them to associate specifically with your game. This can also help you protect art and writing that was done for your game.
You will likely want to iron out contracts with a legal representative detailing who will own exactly what if multiple artists are working together on different aspects of a game. It may feel unnecessary early on, but it’s definitely better to have things set in stone before any conflicts emerge. This can help you protect future business agreements and partnerships by insuring that everyone understands who owns individual pieces of a game.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure which protections are right for you and your game? The law office of Garcia-Zamor can help you figure out exactly what laws can cover which aspects of your game and help you make choices based on what sort of coverage you would prefer to have. This can take a lot off of your plate as you are navigating how to publish and produce your game for consumers to enjoy! Contact us today for more information.
Remember that large gaming companies often have a legal team in charge of protecting the individual elements of any games made at their studio- but independent game designers deserve proper legal protection as well so their products are not abused. Protect yourself from others copying your livelihood. If you want more information on what you can do to protect your creative works or how to stop others who have infringed upon your rights, contact Garcia-Zamor today to get help from experienced professionals who can help you make choices with the knowledge you need to succeed.