new technologies

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.

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”).

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.

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.

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.

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.