How doI patent a computer game that I invented?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2011

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How doI patent a computer game that I invented?

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Business Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unlike copyright and trademark, patenting is not particularly easy. You are strongly advised to let a patent attorney help you. If you are determined to try to patent yourself, or just want more information, do to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) website for the process.

In brief, first you have to perform a search, to make sure not just that this specific game has not been patented before, but also that it is not too similar to anything already patented, or uses some code or engine from an already-patented game.

Assuming that the game is sufficiently novel and original and it can be patented, the proper technical description must be created, which will be incorporated into a patent application sent to the PTO. The PTO then itself checks to make sure that the game does not infringe any existing patents and also meets the criteria for patentability. If it does, then a preliminary patent should issue, which will eventually become a full patent. The process takes months, if not years, start to finish.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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