Posted on Categories creative industry

The name of the game: Video game titles and trademark protection

Sometimes a video game’s title is one of the game development company’s most important assets. Properly selected, secured and promoted, it may constitute a valuable source of income for a long time. Therefore, at an early stage of work on the game, it is worth making an appropriate application to the register, bearing in mind that in the case of trademarks, the principle of “first come, first served” applies. A well-thought-out strategy for selecting and registering a video game title can also save a lot of nerves and money after the game is launched on the market.

Trademark clearance: How to check if a game title is registrable and can be used safely

Trademark clearance should precede not only an application for registration of a game title as a trademark, but indeed the very choice of the intended title (even if the developer ultimately decides not to register it). Trademark clearance is research to determine whether the same or a similar title has already been registered as a trademark or is being used by an entity from the same or a similar sector for identical or similar goods or services. This research is usually carried out using professional trademark databases.

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Posted on Categories creative industry

Outsourcing in game development: Is it worth it?

In the video game sector it is often necessary to draw on specialised knowledge from various fields (e.g. for graphic design projects). In such cases, it is increasingly common to cooperate with external experts by outsourcing certain processes. This form of cooperation carries many advantages, but if the conditions are not carefully framed it can create serious risks for the game development company.

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Posted on Categories creative industry

Law vs. imagination

Is the creativity of video game developers limited by architects’ rights to the image of their buildings erected in public space?

Creators of video games often set the action of their games in spaces modelled on the real world or using well-known buildings and other structures existing in public space. Locations used in video games often gain popularity, and for many fans become a tourist destination in their own right (witness the growing interest in visiting Lower Silesia due to the popularity of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter).

Thus it is essential for creators and publishers of video games to determine whether the use of recognisable locations in games is limited in some way by the law, and if so, what requirements must be met to allow features of the built environment to be used in a game.

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Posted on Categories creative industry

End of the road for the secondary market in e-books and video games?

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

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Posted on Categories creative industry, taxes

Claiming the IP Box in the video game industry

The instrument popularly known as the “IP Box,” introduced on 1 January 2019, allows taxpayers to claim a lower, 5% rate of corporate income tax or personal income tax in their annual tax settlements for income generated from commercialisation of qualified intellectual property rights they have created or developed through R&D activity. In this article we discuss how to benefit from the IP Box in the game development industry, who is eligible for the IP Box, and the conditions that must be met.

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Posted on Categories anti-money laundering, creative industry

Video games, virtual currencies, and money laundering

What could video games have in common with money laundering and terrorism financing? Not much, it might seem at first glance. The duties in the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act are mainly addressed to entities involved in financial services, such as banks and payment institutions. The AML/CTF regulations don’t directly refer to video games or persons involved in their development and operation.

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