This week we had the pleasure of attending EGX 2022 at ExCel! Chloé, Alex, and Saad presented a panel on Video Games 101 – a speedrun through intellectual property rights on Thursday 22nd September on the Community Hub stage.
It was great to be there, and we hope to be back at the next EGX – hopefully we will see you there too.
For anyone who missed our panel, you can find a very quick summary of the key points below – feel free to get in touch with us if you have any queries about intellectual property or want to explore protecting your IP and how we can help.
- Think about protecting both your game name and studio name.
- Make sure your desired names are not too generic or descriptive – this will make registration very difficult!
- Marks can’t be too similar or identical to already existing marks for the same or similar goods and services, so it’s very important to do searches on your chosen name.
- Trade marks give you a monopoly right to use your mark for the goods and services registered – they are a commercial asset as well and looks great to investors.
- You can apply for trade marks across the world BUT this can be very expensive and time consuming – focus on your main jurisdictions (UK, US, EU, Japan, China for example).
- Automatic right, no registration required in the UK – protection exists as soon as you create something substantial
- Work must be original and not copied – bar for originality is low (even a smiley face doodle could have copyright protection!)
- Copyright applies to many aspects of your video game – for more information check out Chloé’s blog on copyright here.
- Use copyright notices (© Briffa 2022. All Rights Reserved.) – no legal requirement to do so but great deterrent.
- Save and date your work, create back ups, and keep a record of inspiration you take from other sources – v. important to demonstrate your development process
Commercialising your IP
- Three main ways to do this – use your IP yourself, give others permission to use your IP (licences), or sell your IP (assignment)
- Key licencing agreement in video games is a publishing agreement
- Protect your confidential information – have non-disclosure agreements in place (particularly for beta testing or press release copies), train staff how to handle information, ensure your data is secure, and have a plan on how to store information and when/what data should be destroyed.
- EULAs are super important (particularly for online games) to set out how your players can use your game… best practice, speak to a lawyer to discuss your requirements!