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Protection of video games: Industrial design, patent, or trade secret?
When the concept for a video game takes shape, and an unprotected idea becomes a protected form of expression, the developer can consider how best to protect the game or elements of the game against copying by competitors. When thinking about legal protection of a video game, it is natural to refer to copyright law. But that is not the only potential source of protection. It is worth examining whether and to what extent elements of the game can be protected through industrial designs, patents, or perhaps trade secrets.
Protection of video games: Industrial design, patent, or trade secret?
Fundamental issues a game developer should pay attention to when negotiating a contract for publication of a video game
Contracts for publication of video games are concluded between game developers and companies specialising in publishing games (sometimes referred to “dev-publisher agreements”).
Fundamental issues a game developer should pay attention to when negotiating a contract for publication of a video game
Copyright and game jams, hackathons and competitions
Game jamy, hackathony, konkursy to niektóre z metod na zaktywizowanie i zaangażowanie społeczności gamedevowej (o czym świadczy choćby popularność onlinowego ogólnopolskiego game jamu #zostanwdomurobgry, zorganizowanego przez Fundację Indie Games Polska między 30 marca a 6 kwietnia 2020 r. pod patronatem Ministerstwa Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego oraz Ministerstwa Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego https://www.zostanwdomurobgry.pl/). Organizacja konkursu, jego rozpropagowanie jest relatywnie nieskomplikowane. Korzyści zaś wydają się być obopólne – uczestnicy mają możliwość zaprezentowania swojej twórczości, zaś organizator konkursu ma dostęp do różnorodnych kreatywnych propozycji. Poniżej krótko wskażemy, jakie wzywania prawnoautorskie stawiają takie konkursy.
Copyright and game jams, hackathons and competitions
The name of the game: Video game titles and trademark protection
Sometimes a video game’s title is one of the game development company’s most important assets. Properly selected, secured and promoted, it may constitute a valuable source of income for a long time. Therefore, at an early stage of work on the game, it is worth making an appropriate application to the register, bearing in mind that in the case of trademarks, the principle of “first come, first served” applies. A well-thought-out strategy for selecting and registering a video game title can also save a lot of nerves and money after the game is launched on the market.
The name of the game: Video game titles and trademark protection
Outsourcing in game development: Is it worth it?
In the video game sector it is often necessary to draw on specialised knowledge from various fields (e.g. for graphic design projects). In such cases, it is increasingly common to cooperate with external experts by outsourcing certain processes. This form of cooperation carries many advantages, but if the conditions are not carefully framed it can create serious risks for the game development company.
Outsourcing in game development: Is it worth it?
Claiming the IP Box in the video game industry
The instrument popularly known as the “IP Box,” introduced on 1 January 2019, allows taxpayers to claim a lower, 5% rate of corporate income tax or personal income tax in their annual tax settlements for income generated from commercialisation of qualified intellectual property rights they have created or developed through R&D activity. In this article we discuss how to benefit from the IP Box in the game development industry, who is eligible for the IP Box, and the conditions that must be met.
Claiming the IP Box in the video game industry
Video games, virtual currencies, and money laundering
What could video games have in common with money laundering and terrorism financing? Not much, it might seem at first glance. The duties in the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act are mainly addressed to entities involved in financial services, such as banks and payment institutions. The AML/CTF regulations don’t directly refer to video games or persons involved in their development and operation.
Video games, virtual currencies, and money laundering
In-game advertising: How to play it?
The trend toward advertising in online channels has grown for years, but video games are still not a popular ad platform. While large foreign entities are eager to exploit this opportunity (among game publishers such as Electronic Arts and brands like adidas, Coca-Cola and Daimler), it is harder to find examples of this type of cooperation among Polish entities.
In-game advertising: How to play it?
Remote work and “employer of record”: Employment in the video game industry
The game development industry knows no boundaries, and often attracts workers from all over the world. But employment and immigration regulations pose a barrier to drawing on the resources of the global labour market, particularly when a game development studio considers employing persons in Poland who are citizens of countries outside the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland. However, new non-standard forms of work help overcome the difficulties in hiring foreigners, and are worth considering for roles such as programmers, graphic designers, sound engineers, script writers, and game testers.
Remote work and “employer of record”: Employment in the video game industry
Legal aspects of the video game industry
The video game development sector has grown rapidly in recent years. With the spread of smartphones, new business models, and distribution platforms, the market for video games has taken off, becoming a key sector of the creative industry. Its growth stirs the imagination and appetite not only of game producers and publishers, but also of the biggest companies in sectors like IT and film, who are increasingly oriented toward the game market. It is also a promising field for investors, particularly from Asia. The industry’s growth has not even been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To the contrary, the industry has taken advantage of this time to reinforce its position and achieve new growth.
Legal aspects of the video game industry
Humvee, iPhone, Pip-Boy: Can real-life items be depicted in video games?
Video game designers often place the narrative of their games in contemporary or historical times. This requires them to base elements in the game on items familiar from the real world, such as vehicles, clothing, jewellery, weapons, foods and electronics. Can such depictions be freely used in games, or is consent required?
Humvee, iPhone, Pip-Boy: Can real-life items be depicted in video games?
Tech versus virus: Remote diagnostics
This time we address solutions from the front lines: devices for remote diagnostics which can improve effective detection of the coronavirus and also unburden the health service in other areas. These solutions can also serve as a proving ground for the regulatory approach to oversight of algorithms.
Tech versus virus: Remote diagnostics