Intellectual Property

Video Game Law: Are the Rules of a Video Game Now Copyrightable?


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Instructor: Todd Smithline
Length: 1 hour
CLE: None
Roundtable: Yes
Created: 2/18

In the last few years, two U.S. district courts found video game mechanics or “rules” to be protectable by copyright. A more recent district court started down the same path before reversing itself. So, are the rules of a video game now copyrightable?

Specific Topics
  1. What are the Rules of a Video Game?
  2. The Historical Approach to Protecting Game Rules
  3. The Arcade Game Cases (Asteroids and Pac-Man)
  4. Attack of the Mobile Clones: Tetris and Spry Fox
  5. The DaVinci Case
  6. Is There Some Other Way to Protect Game Rules?
  7. Why Might Video Game Rules be Receiving Greater Protection?
  8. Questions from the Roundtable