Legal Issues in the Gaming Industry

When making a game you have to make sure that you are not breaking the law by copying a product that already exists whether you intended to or not, but you also want to make sure that no one out there can copy or steal your product idea.

You do this through claiming the following:                                                           Copyrights                                                                                                                                 Trademarks                                                                                                                               Patents                                                                                                                                           Design rights

Copyrights are when you claim the rights to  a certain product.             Trademarks are when you claim the rights to a franchise or title that represents the product.                                                                                                   Patents help protect the way your product works so no one can copy it can claim that it is different through slight things like a different name or color.                                                                                                               Design Rights let you claim legally that you were the one to come up with the design of the product.

A case of copy right infringement in the gaming industry that happened a few years ago was EA who sued Zynga for making a game that was “a complete clone of Sims Social,” which was named The Ville, they also claimed that they strategically hired 3 of their executives for the sole purpose of making the “clone,”

zynga01

As you can see they’re almost identical so you can see why EA filed this suet.

A recent new trademark that has been brought up was King (The Developer and Publisher of Candy Crush) who claimed the trademark of the word “Candy,”  which he claims is too try and stop outright copycat games that are trying to ride on the success of Candy Crush, however it is also obvious that some innocent games will end up getting in trouble because of this, and they may not have the resources to be able to defend themselves.

An example of a Patent infringement would be the counter sue that Microsoft pulled off on Datel. Datel where trying to sue Microsoft for “deliberately harming competition,” so Microsoft tried suing them for copying the designs of the Xbox controller. In the end they settled their lawsuits and both parties were satisfied with the outcome although the outcome has not been made public.

(Need a design infringement)

I personally believe that these things come with good reason, as you don’t want someone to take something you own. How ever as with all good things they can be exploited for profit and all these probably are, well they aren’t exploited but are taken out of hand, like King claiming the word Candy shouldn’t have been accepted as it is a very common word in the world and in the gaming industry as well.

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