10 Nov

IP Law for Dummies and Game Designers

An apology and a disclaimer: This post is way, way, longer than usual. I’m not a lawyer. You figure out which is the disclaimer.

I quite often come across questions on BoardGameGeek’s Board Game Design forum along the lines of “do I need a patent?”, “if I mail myself the game in a sealed envelope will that give me copyright?” and “can I copy a game?”. Here’s one recent example:

“Just How Different Does a Game Have to Be?”

So, like the subject asks: Just how different does a game have to be, for it to safely comply with intellectual laws? And as far as I’ve described, does it sound like my game is far enough from this book?

Answer #1: Which IP laws? They differ by country and sometimes by state as well.

Answer #2: Not very.

TLDR answer:

IP (Intellectual Property) laws come in three main flavors: Read More