Legal protection of Videogames

Unlike other creative industries, video games draw on the worlds of both technology and creativity.

Intellectual Property (IP) rights are the main tools for the protection of all the main elements of a Videogame.

In this IP-intensive industry, IP rights are associated both with the tools used to develop games and the content included in the game.

Developing a proactive IP strategy is essential to the success of a developer’s enterprise, a challenging task in a fast growing industry further compounded by a lack of harmonisation.

Please find below a general breakdown of a videogame’s elements and how to protect them:

(Important: The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only ) 


VIDEOGAME’S NAME: Is protected as a Trademark. The Owner’s name is recommended to be protected as a Trademark too.

SOURCE CODE : A source code is protected through Copyright.

CHARACTERS AND BOX DESIGN: Are protected as Copyright. Under conditions they can also be protected as Trademarks and Industrial Designs

MAPS / BUILDINGS : Are protected through Copyright

SOUNDTRACK AND SOUND EFFECTS: Music created especially for the videogame, provided that the right documents are in place, is protected through Copyright. In certain cases the owner can explore the protection of certain sound effects under Trademark Law.

SCRIPT / DIALOQUE AND STORY PLAY: Those works are protected as “literary works” throught Copyright.

HARDWARE : If there is any technical innovation especially created for the Videogame, it might be protected as a Patent.


Important to remember:

Please remember to apply for the protection of your rights before the commercial exploitation or publication of your Videogame

Make sure that the relevant Terms of Use are in place as well!


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