Coming up with a new game idea is more than just a great way to have a good time; it can also be a lucrative business venture. However, before you can market and capitalize off your idea, you must secure a patent. As you might have imagined, securing a patent is a lengthy process requiring research, planning, and precision.
Genuinely New Idea
Just because an idea seems new to you does not necessarily mean it is. It could be that you are unaware of a similar game, even though it has existed for some time. Before initiating a patent process, speak with an attorney to learn how to research to see if another game is similar to yours already on the market. While the patent process will include a similar search, by the time you have reached this point, you will have already put in time and money, so it is much better to make this discovery earlier.
Rarely is the patent process quick. An inventor can wait years to gain this official protection for their idea. For this reason, it is wise to think about the game's marketability to ensure it is worth the investment. For example, if you have a trendy game idea that will likely be outdated by next year, submitting the patent as-is might not be worth it. Instead, it might be better to tweak the game to give it more longevity so that it is more marketable before submitting the patent.
You might not think non-disclosure agreements and the patent process go hand-in-hand, but these documents are vital. Until a patent is secured for your game, essentially, you are not the owner. As such, any person who gets word of your idea can submit a patent of their own, possibly beating you to the finish line. Ask your attorney to prepare a non-disclosure agreement to give to anyone you speak about the game to, such as a beta tester, to ensure your idea is safe until the patent process is complete.
In addition to time, some expenses go into the patent process. The patent application requires a fee; there are research fees, attorney fees, and other costs. Looking ahead, there might even be costs associated with maintaining the patent. To ensure you are equipped and prepared, speak with your attorney to learn about all the fees you should anticipate and when they are due.
Obtaining a patent for your game begins with speaking with an attorney. Gather all your information and sit down with an attorney to start the process. Reach out to a patent lawyer near you to learn more.
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