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Protecting your indie game

11-27-2015, 09:10 AM
#1
Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Ireland
Posts: 87
Protecting your indie game

Hi guys,

I've been reading a lot lately about intellectual property right and protecting your product before launch. To me, it seems like a big gamble to fork out even more money on a game that might literally get less than 100 downloads. However, I can see the massive benefit of protecting something that turns out to be very successful!

Have any of you trademarked any of your game titles or game characters? If so, would you mind explaining how much it cost you and was it worth it?

Thank you!

Last edited by David_Don_13; 11-27-2015 at 09:13 AM.
11-27-2015, 10:51 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Last I checked (a year ago), it costs about $300 to register a trademark (in the US only). But all that does is give you some ammunition. Just having a trademark isn't going to magically protect your IP - you would need to spend more to actually initiate legal action.

Apple (at least) is usually pretty good about taking down apps that ripoff your app if you reach out to them, and there's clear evidence of abuse/fraud.

In any event, I think you're spot on about it being a gamble/economic non-starter. Even free non-featured games barely get any downloads these days. If you've got a great app and money to burn, probably better to invest it in development, art, and/or marketing. If your app takes off, you can always belatedly register trademarks after the fact. If it doesn't, it's probably wasn't valuable enough to protect in the first place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Don_13 View Post
Hi guys,

I've been reading a lot lately about intellectual property right and protecting your product before launch. To me, it seems like a big gamble to fork out even more money on a game that might literally get less than 100 downloads. However, I can see the massive benefit of protecting something that turns out to be very successful!

Have any of you trademarked any of your game titles or game characters? If so, would you mind explaining how much it cost you and was it worth it?

Thank you!

12-14-2015, 03:50 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 2015
Location: Sweden
Posts: 24
I agree with the above post.
The problem with intellectual propery is that is a greyzone where you can actually copy quite much and come away with it.
As stoffolino said, don't worry about that stuff, at least not now.

Twitter - @cduesgard
12-14-2015, 10:51 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 874
We trademark almost all of our game names. We start with a local registration in NZ which if successfully gives you a six month window to then register in other countries and be the first claimant. Generally, covering off all the main territories costs about US$5-6k per name/title.

Of course, that is only part of it. You also need to be prepared to follow up and issue infringement notices to infringers and Apple etc, which is takes time and ultimately money.

You don't NEED a registered trademark to have some claim over a name, but it certainly strengthens your position a lot. But it does come at a price.
12-15-2015, 01:50 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I trademarked Daredevil Dave, but only after the game had made a substantial amount of money. It cost me $700 USD because I used a Trademark Attorney. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

As for whether or not it was worth it, I don't know. I get to put a little "R" next to his name so....
12-23-2015, 07:00 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Appstores
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by schplurg View Post
I trademarked Daredevil Dave, but only after the game had made a substantial amount of money. It cost me $700 USD because I used a Trademark Attorney. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

As for whether or not it was worth it, I don't know. I get to put a little "R" next to his name so....
Hope you have the resources when someone uses Daredevil Dave in their apps too.
Do you?
12-24-2015, 12:30 AM
#7
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
I guess I struggle to see how for most indies on a mobile game will be practical.

Obviously great to do if you can and have a high expected return on investment.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
12-26-2015, 08:41 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikPok View Post
We trademark almost all of our game names. We start with a local registration in NZ which if successfully gives you a six month window to then register in other countries and be the first claimant. Generally, covering off all the main territories costs about US$5-6k per name/title.

Of course, that is only part of it. You also need to be prepared to follow up and issue infringement notices to infringers and Apple etc, which is takes time and ultimately money.

You don't NEED a registered trademark to have some claim over a name, but it certainly strengthens your position a lot. But it does come at a price.
I feel like there are tons of knock offs of your flick football game. Are u pursing them or how's that even work?
12-26-2015, 09:20 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Touchmint View Post
I feel like there are tons of knock offs of your flick football game. Are u pursing them or how's that even work?
The mechanics aren't something you can protect. I am pretty sure the flick football was just a clone of the espn flash game ad's(although that was ages ago, not saying they copied but the mechanics had already been done) which where based on playing it on a table rather than on the field, but same mechanics.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8