Specialists in Technology and IP

The video gaming industry continues to grow and expand year after year, with new, innovative games regularly showcasing major improvements in graphics and performance.

A single video game comprises many intellectual property rights, from the code that makes the game work, the artwork and sound design that makes the game stand out, to the names of characters, the game itself, and even the studio responsible for producing it.

This means that a large part of your game’s value is derived from its intellectual property, and protecting that intellectual property is essential.

Whether you want to trade mark your studio name or licence the copyright to your new IP, we offer various services across video game law.

Our commercially-aware lawyers are on hand to walk you through the various legal considerations as you grow your studio and to help you nail the launch of that new blockbuster game.

Read more for an outline of the services that we can provide, or fill in the contact form to organise a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

“I contacted Briffa, Intellectual Property and Information Technology Lawyers looking for legal advice on a few matters. I found them extremely professional, helpful and responsive. We had an initial phone chat, which was followed by a more detailed consultation. The team patiently assisted me with all my questions and I was very impressed by how knowledgeable, clear and thorough they were. I would highly recommend their services.”

– Giulia Ariete, Technology Services Client

How Can We Help?

Trade Marks

A trade mark is your brand identifier and an essential asset in building up your reputation as a games studio and a video game.

Trade marks give you the exclusive right to use your brand in relation to video games – it is your identity, a sign of quality, and can be a driving force behind consumer purchase.

Whether you are looking to trade mark your studio name, or video game name, we can advise you on your brand strategy, including carrying out clearance searches and making sure your trade mark is properly registered in the UK and other territories across the world.

Data Protection

With the rise of online gaming and digital sales, data protection plays a big role within the video games industry.

In this post-GDPR era, the use and processing of personal data is under the spotlight more now than ever, with substantial fines for companies that breach the regulatory framework.

We can help you to navigate the legal landscape behind data protection, making sure that your game, website and company have the correct policies and procedures in place to keep your company GDPR compliant.


Copyright is an intellectual property right that automatically arises when you create certain types of work, such as artwork or source code.

In video games, source code will make up a substantial part of your copyright works, as will your artwork, sound design and dialogue scripts.

We can advise on making the most of your copyright, from commercialising and licencing your copyright to other studios, to taking action if someone copies your work.

Confidential information

Video games rely on many people working together, sometimes across multiple companies, to bring an idea to life. Whilst having lots of people working together is an essential part of game development, it can make it difficult to manage sensitive information, such as unique game features, or a much-anticipated narrative.

We can help to protect your information with non-disclosure agreements and advice on confidentiality, to protect your well-kept secrets and prevent leaks.

Commercial Contracts

Getting your game to publication is a long process, and you’re likely to encounter lots of different contracts along the way. It’s important to ensure that all arrangements and agreements are set out in writing, as in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, it is best to have a clear record of what has been agreed.

Common agreements in video games include:

  • Development Agreements
  • Terms and Conditions
  • End User Licence Agreements
  • Licencing Agreements
  • Publishing Agreements

We offer fixed fees to draft, review and negotiate video game contracts.

Why Choose Briffa?

We’ve provided legal support for the technology industry since 1995.

We offer a free initial consultation before providing a fixed-fee quote for our services.

We have offices in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

We offer an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am in the process of starting my own games studio, what do I need to consider first?

First things first, you need a studio name! Your studio name will be key to building your reputation as an up-and-coming development team, so it is important to consider your name from an early stage and find a name that you can apply for a trade mark.

If you are working with other people, you should consider the working relationship, i.e. will you all be directors of a registered company or freelancers with a development agreement?

Establishing where the intellectual property lies and who is responsible for what area will avoid arguments at a later stage.

You should also consider whether you need to protect any confidential information. Any unique game design choices or story content is definitely worth protecting, so consider putting in place non-disclosure agreements before discussing your ideas with new team members or investors.

What should I think about when working on our game?

The name of your game is equally as important as your studio name. Making sure that you are allowed to use the game name before you launch your game will avoid legal troubles arising later down the line. 

Also, think about alpha and beta testing. If you plan to invite people to play your game in an unfinished state, you might want to consider non-disclosure obligations on your testers, to avoid any story leaks or poor publicity because of some unfortunate bugs.

Our first game is about to launch, is there anything we should do before going live?

At this stage, you should have your trade marks and all relevant contracts sorted, making sure that the intellectual property in the video game is dealt with correctly. 

Another item to check before launch is that you have the correct licences to use the game engine. For example, Unity and Unreal Engine are popular game engines, but they have tiered subscription licences – you should make sure that you have the correct subscription.

Then it’s time to consider how you will publish. If you are self-publishing, make sure you understand the terms of the platform you are launching on (Steam, Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo are likely to have their own terms and requirements, so it’s worth checking them). If you’ve got a publisher on board, then make sure you have an agreement in place – you’ll want to ensure you retain the intellectual property in your video game, as this is your most precious asset!

Meet the Team

Briffa’s specialist solicitors have been practising intellectual property law in the UK and Europe for over twenty-five years. Meet our team and see the faces behind our success stories.

Book a free consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

We’ll start with a no obligation chat where we’ll get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

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