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I have developed a game and I'm not sure what the best way to protect it is. Any information would be appreciated. The game works a lot like darts same strategy but with a different board and different projectiles.

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I think this is quite a broad question. Protect which parts from whom? Do you want to protect the assets, the concept, the source code, ...? Protect it from modders, pirates or other companies? –  Annan Nov 8 '12 at 19:32
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this really is not a good place to come with legal questions. You should try to find an actual lawyer to ask about this kind of thing . The answers you get from here will probably be to the tune of "to the best of my knowledge...". –  Benjamin Danger Johnson Nov 8 '12 at 19:42
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I think asking legal questions are fine as long as they are relevant to game development, specific enough to be answerable, and the asker understands that he or she is not receiving 'official' legal advice. –  Kylotan Nov 8 '12 at 19:50
    
@Kylotan that may be true, but if the asker is clearly a new user (only 6 rep) it's important to make sure that they are aware of our limited legal knowledge and don't take what is said here as fact. –  Benjamin Danger Johnson Nov 8 '12 at 22:16
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Why is this getting downvoted so much? It's a perfectly legitimate question. Give the asker a little while to edit it and make his question clearer. –  Jonathan Hobbs Nov 8 '12 at 22:45
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2 Answers

Asking how to protect your games IP is a bit like asking how to protect your games copyright. It is the IP that protects your game. And it may differ in many countries.

As a rule of thumb, if you create a game, the music, game graphic and story is yours because you made it.

Wikipedia article on IP : "Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized in law.1 Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and in some jurisdictions trade secrets."

Your Ideas will most likely not be protected, you can go through the hassle and patten it if you have invented something completely new. You can also register your art, music, and code for copyright to give you an extra legal edge.

I aint no Lawyer! Like the previous post suggest, ask a lawyer if you want to be sure, not a gaming programming website. That is the gaming equivalence of asking Yahoo.Answers instead of a doctor if you have cancer.

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The short answer to this is that you should look into copyrighting or patenting any unique names or tech that you are using. Names and tech are probably the most "protectible" (for lack of a better term) when it comes to video game IPs. The game mechanics you are using get a little more complicated. From here, I am using information that I have gathered over time, and am referencing this question as support, but I must be clear:

This is not legal advice.

Now, game mechanics themselves cannot be copyrighted, and it's unlikely that patents on them will be approved. So, legal action regarding a re-used or "stolen" mechanic will not hold up in court. However, the exchange between Nimblebit and Zynga regarding Tiny Tower and Dream Heights made me aware that the expression of the game mechanic is a matter that can be taken to court. This makes sense when you consider that several versions of the original "Bingo" exist, but all of them have different art-styles, reward systems, twists on gameplay, etc.

That said, what you really should do before moving forward is seek legal advice from a lawyer specializing in intellectual property laws.

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