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

Answers:

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.


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