Posted On: November 8, 2021

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ASSOCIATED WITH VIDEO GAMES

global ipr protection | knowledgentia consultants

PUBLISHED ON 08.11.2021 BY MS. APARNA JAIN, MS. HARINDER NARVAN, AND MS. AASHRIKA AHUJA

The entertainment industry is no longer restricted to movies but has expanded to include within its ambit the imaginative and creative world of video games which today is the fastest growing sector driving economic growth generating billions of dollars of revenue. The sector encompassing computer codes translating ideas and giving it an expression in the form of visual art on smart phones, tablets and computers is a hub of intellectual property. A wide range of new stories, formats, plots and themes featuring graphics, voice-overs and use of advanced technology has made this industry vulnerable to infringement of IP as well as depriving true owners and creators their due. Knowledgentia Consultants which is the best law firm in India, offers expert advice on IP rights to all our clients in the video game industry. Be it copyright registration services in India or Global IPR protection, we offer best IP services in India.

ASSOCIATED IP RIGHTS

IP is the lifeblood of gaming industry and the following IP rights are associated with gaming industry:-

  1. COPYRIGHT- Copyright is used to safeguard the creative and artistic expression related to software codes, artwork and sound and music of the game. Similar is the case with protection of expression in the idea of storyline, characters and the website. Further, the derivative work too is covered under copyright protection.
  2. TRADEMARKS- Trademarks help in securing rights over names and logo of the company as well as the game.
  3. PATENTS- Patents are for protection of hardware technical solutions, inventive game play or technical innovations such as software, networking database designs.
  4. TRADE SECRETS- They are used for protecting the confidential business information
  5. INDUSTRIAL DESIGN- Design protection is used for protecting aesthetic appearance of gaming tools etc.

As a result of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, video games have acquired a role of an important field for social interaction. Use of AI and other special techniques have added variety consistently to the realm of video gaming industry but the unauthorized use of elements of a video game, piracy, counterfeiting etc have recently become a menace resulting into a plethora of IP violation issues.

IP REGIME GOVERNING VIDEO GAMES IN INDIA

In India, no specific IP laws have been enacted governing video gaming industry but IP legislations governing copyright, trademarks, patents and other regulations but there are few ambiguities embedded in these laws pertaining protection of IP in video gaming industry.

  1. The Copyright Act, 1957 provides cinematograph film as a work of visual recording. A video game though presented in the form of a movie is created through help of computer programming codes. Video games cannot be presented as a movie as they require interaction between the players. Therefore, they do not fall within the ambit of cinematographic works. Further there is another challenge with respect to who can be the owner in a video game.
  2. Section 3(m) of the Patents Act, 1970 provides that method of playing a game does not have an inventive step involved and hence doesn’t fall within category of an invention .A method of playing is not just an idea or expression but involves writing of different codes for the game to work. If a person creates new method of playing a game then it should be allowed to be protected as a patent so as to encourage the creativity of game developers.
  3. Designs: A game consists of various designs but the Designs Act, 2000 does not cover it under the definition of a design. Section 2(d), provides that a design includes features of shape, configuration, patters, composition of lines applied to any article in two or three dimensional forms by any industrial process. No designs created through technology8 have been covered by the statute, which only provides for designs created through an industrial process.

Knowledgentia Consultants has earned a name as one of the most client focused intellectual property firm in India. Providing best intellectual property services in India, we are your one-stop solution for all kinds of legal, compliance and supplemental matters concerning intellectual property. In case of any query regarding this matter you may email us at info@knowledgentia.com

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Harinder Narvan
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