By Angela D. Murch1
There are many avenues for protecting an intellectual investment in video gaming technology. Selecting and implementing an appropriate strategy can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the options for intellectual property (IP) protection.
To avoid becoming mired in the available options, it is important to identify an overall short- and long-term plan for marketing and monetization of the video game and its constituent parts. Once a plan is outlined, the IP protection budget can be determined. In any budgetary discussion, it is important to consider that more bang-for-the-buck is achieved with strong up-front IP preparation as compared, for example, to prolonged battles in the courts for unprotected IP.
With a plan and a budget in hand, an IP attorney can help to determine a course of action that provides IP protection for the plan given the budget constraints.
This article is intended to provide a general overview of video game IP protection in the U.S. for a reader with little prior knowledge of IP law. Much of the United States (U.S.) law related to IP protection is federal statutory law, meaning that the U.S. Congress enacted the law and it is enforced in U.S. federal courts. Federal judges interpret statutory law in federal court cases. IP law is also found in state law, with interpret...