We are launching a series of articles on the data economy. We use this term to refer collectively to new models of the economy in which the principal role is played by data. Data are becoming an asset in their own right which is more and more often the subject of commercial exchange. This doesn’t mean only personal data. It also, or even primarily, means non-personal data of all sorts, including those generated or gathered by machines, whose value we are only beginning to discover.
We were spurred to develop a series of texts on this topic by the more and more frequently encountered question “Who owns data?” We hear this from clients, tech firms, and startups. Under the surface of this seemingly trivial question lurks the essence of the legal challenges connected with the data economy. It turns out that the legal status of data is not always obvious and it cannot easily be determined who owns data or what is the substance of rights to data.
We would like to expose some sensitive areas where the law does not yield the desired answers to fundamental questions about the rules of the data economy. Along the way, we will attempt to systematise the existing regulations, to determine to what extent they could apply to data.
Continue reading “New series: Data economy”
When the concept for a video game takes shape, and an unprotected idea becomes a protected form of expression, the developer can consider how best to protect the game or elements of the game against copying by competitors. When thinking about legal protection of a video game, it is natural to refer to copyright law. But that is not the only potential source of protection. It is worth examining whether and to what extent elements of the game can be protected through industrial designs, patents, or perhaps trade secrets.
Continue reading “Protection of video games: Industrial design, patent, or trade secret?”
This is one of the most often asked questions. The answer is difficult and equivocal. On one hand, a good idea is half the way to success. On the other hand, ideas are regarded as free and should not be monopolised, but a specific manner or form of expression of an idea can be the subject of copyright protection. However, drawing the line between an unprotected idea and a protected manner of expression is a difficult challenge that depends on the specific factual circumstances. First it must be determined what can be protected in a computer game, and then how these elements can best be protected.
Continue reading “I have an idea for a video game. How can I protect it?”
Game jams, hackathons and competitions are
some of the methods for activating and engaging the game development community
(as demonstrated for example by the popularity of Poland’s nationwide online
game jam #zostanwdomurobgry, held
by the Indie Games Polska Foundation on 30 March – 6 April 2020 under the
aegis of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of
Science and Higher Education). Organising and promoting a competition is relatively
uncomplicated. There are benefits on both sides. The participants have an opportunity
to present their work, and the organiser gains access to a range of creative
proposals. But such competitions pose copyright challenges, as we discuss below.
Continue reading “Copyright and game jams, hackathons and competitions”
In recent months, perhaps more than ever, life has moved online. Some people spend their time reading e-books or playing video games. Can they later resell or exchange such “used” works? A recent ruling by the Court of Justice throws into doubt the secondary trading in digital goods.
Nederlands Uitgeversverbond v Tom Kabinet Internet BV (Case C‑263/18), judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019
Continue reading “End of the road for the secondary market in e-books and video games?”
Are computer games still
a niche product, or have they entered the mainstream? The possibility of
registering a trademark similar to an earlier mark turns on this issue.
Kalypso Media Group GmbH v EUIPO, Case T‑700/18
(judgment of the General Court of 10 October 2019)
The computer game
industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, in Poland as elsewhere.
Dynamic growth carries the risk of disputes affecting various aspects
A case recently reached the docket of the General Court (a division of the Court of Justice of the European Union) concerning the application for registration of an EU trademark for the word sign DUNGEONS by Kalypso Media Group GmbH. The application was opposed by Wizards of the Coast LLC, proprietor of the earlier EU word mark DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. The European Union Intellectual Property Office upheld the opposition and denied registration of DUNGEONS, finding that there was a likelihood of confusion with the earlier mark DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.
Continue reading ““Dungeons” similar to “Dungeons & Dragons””