DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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July 12th, 2018 at 6:56:25 AM permalink
Since the Bilsky and Alice decisions make getting game patents nearly impossible, what is everyone doing about game / IP protection?

I've created a new card game, but I don't know what I should do about IP protection.

I suppose I could trademark the name, but then someone could just come up with a different name.

And I could copyright the layout and/or pay tables, but creating alternate layouts and pay tables would not be difficult.

So what can I do?


For the record, my new concept is so simple that I wonder if I could get a patent, even if there weren't any Bilsky / Alice issues....
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
darkoz
darkoz
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July 12th, 2018 at 7:11:54 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Since the Bilsky and Alice decisions make getting game patents nearly impossible, what is everyone doing about game / IP protection?

I've created a new card game, but I don't know what I should do about IP protection.

I suppose I could trademark the name, but then someone could just come up with a different name.

And I could copyright the layout and/or pay tables, but creating alternate layouts and pay tables would not be difficult.

So what can I do?


For the record, my new concept is so simple that I wonder if I could get a patent, even if there weren't any Bilsky / Alice issues....



Isnt their position that the game only qualifies if it has some mechanical or programmable aspect?

If so why not try making only an E-game version which would require software creation? Claim the software that operates the game is the patentable item?

Just a thought
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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July 12th, 2018 at 7:22:10 AM permalink
Wouldn’t that leave the plain felt table version unprotected?
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
DRich
DRich
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July 12th, 2018 at 7:31:03 AM permalink
I agree with DarkOz. Do a prototype PC version and file for a patent. In the description, and in the claims, also mention an incarnation with physical cards. I think that is the best you can do.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
SM777
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July 12th, 2018 at 7:32:49 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Isnt their position that the game only qualifies if it has some mechanical or programmable aspect?



Yes, this is accurate.
darkoz
darkoz
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July 12th, 2018 at 7:57:32 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Wouldn’t that leave the plain felt table version unprotected?



Im not a patent attorney but i believe once you have yhe patent you can claim patent violation if someone makes a copy for the plain felt

At least you have enough to scare people with

Ay any rate no one will be able to steal the e-game version which leaves that entire half of the field in your court
darkoz
darkoz
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July 12th, 2018 at 8:05:59 AM permalink
I dont know if its apples n oranges but here is one copyright case i read about

Matt wagner created a comic book character named grendel. The comics company publishing the series went into bankruptcy

His character was considerd part of the company assets. Wagner was forbidden from writing or publishing his own creation for years

Here is where im comparing the e-game suggestion

Wagner was forbidden from even writing a simulacrum character. For example he couldnt create a character that dressed and acted in any similar manner just with a different name.

So im thinking if you get a patent on the e-game version that may be enough to protect a table game iteration as you now have an enforceable patent on an iteration or any simulacrum of the game

Of course this is something to confirm with your patent attorney
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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July 12th, 2018 at 8:13:59 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Im not a patent attorney but i believe once you have yhe patent you can claim patent violation if someone makes a copy for the plain felt

At least you have enough to scare people with

Ay any rate no one will be able to steal the e-game version which leaves that entire half of the field in your court



No, you need to take the steps to write up mechanical (felt) play and e-game or digital play in the same patent application. Don't leave that out. My advice based on 6 drafts and many thousands of dollars for the non-provisional legalese. All variations, all potential paytables, all HE mechanisms should be described in agonizing and minute detail.

My extremely simple game (if i recall correctly) makes 27 claims and runs 43 pages in its latest iteration.

When I filed the provisional, I included all my work notes and drawings, table card, math, and marketing claims. (Actually, i amended it twice as new aspects came up, before the lawyers took over. You can do that without disturbing the original protection date if you're careful.)

This helped protect all iterations as of that date, and pending (you have 1 year) the lawyers turning my notes into a proper document. And they required copies of everything to make sure they had as much info to work with as possible in finding unique IP to claim.

I would highly recommend you do it the same way. But start with advice from Rich, of course, (I mention him because i know you know him) who advised me on doing it.
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beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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July 12th, 2018 at 8:20:57 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

I dont know if its apples n oranges but here is one copyright case i read about

Matt wagner created a comic book character named grendel. The comics company publishing the series went into bankruptcy

His character was considerd part of the company assets. Wagner was forbidden from writing or publishing his own creation for years

Here is where im comparing the e-game suggestion

Wagner was forbidden from even writing a simulacrum character. For example he couldnt create a character that dressed and acted in any similar manner just with a different name.

So im thinking if you get a patent on the e-game version that may be enough to protect a table game iteration as you now have an enforceable patent on an iteration or any simulacrum of the game

Of course this is something to confirm with your patent attorney



Sorry, but it doesn't work that way in gaming, at least in my experience. See my post above.

Also, my dad had 14 patents approved as a box designer. However, they were all work product, so the patents were assigned to the company, as you note. Something to consider, especially if negotiating with a distributor. Mine structured 2 deals, one where they bought the IP outright, the other where they leased the game. So that may be a choice in the future.

Some of Dad's designs, patented in the early 1960s, are still in use today. A nice legacy, even if it is without royalties.
"Man Babes" #AxelFabulous
FleaStiff
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July 12th, 2018 at 8:22:19 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Since the Bilsky and Alice decisions make getting game patents nearly impossible, . . .

Since I have neither heard of nor read these decisions I really should keep my yap shut but you might think about the layout. If the casino table's layout as mandated by simplicity and surveillance rules is under some sort of protection, then you might be able to exclude copycats using the same text and physical layout orientation.

Agree that a game's name offers little protection. Casinos that do trials often alter the name of the game anyway. A publisher rarely grants a writer any control over the title of a novel or the cover art.

I wish all game developers the best of luck but it seems the law never offered much protection against market forces and now offers even less.

If you build a better mousetrap, the world will yawn... and then try to copy it for free.

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