If I want to develop an android racing game set in the 1940-1950, with the real track of that period (that differs from the actual one), both closed and street circuit, and the real car of that period (F1 car), do I have to pay a license to use its name and aspect?

If so, how much it would be cost?


I am not a lawyer. If you are serious about creating a project which might infringe on 3rd party intellectual properties, always get legal advise by an actual professional lawyer familiar with IP rights. But as a layman I believe this to be true:

Names are protected by trademark law. You can generally use a trademark when the owner doesn't use that trademark for business purposes anymore and doesn't have a registered trademark for that name.

Architectural features like race tracks and mechanical designs like cars are protected by copyright law. Copyright expiry durations vary around the world, and can be somewhere between 50 and 120 years.

What would it cost to use a trademarked name / copyrighted design in your game? Whatever the owner wants you to pay. You would have to find out who owns the IP rights and negotiate with them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sínce this is an old F1 car, and presumably an old F1 track, the FIA as the governing body for Formula One racing would have an interest in licensing rights. If the constructor or constructors are still in business they would also have an interest. Even if the car design was freely usable, you can bet that the livery and names are not and probably never will be. As for negotiating rights to reuse the advertising, particularly if it's iconic, well you probably can't. That's why typically only big studios do licensed games. \$\endgroup\$ – Maximus Minimus Jun 13 '19 at 5:30

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