Video Games, Esports & Interactive Entertainment

Patenting in Europe: we know the cheat codes

Patenting video game-related technology in Europe can be difficult. The European Patent Office (EPO) nominally considers several areas of technology that are core to video games to be ineligible for patentability: programs for computers, the presentation of information, and rules and methods for playing a game. All this means that, without the right legal assistance, your applications may fall at the first hurdle.

However, the Kilburn & Strode team has the ‘exp’ needed to navigate the EPO’s complex requirements and optimise your chances of success in Europe. Our team has seen it all, from biometric sensors for generating more realistic VR / metaverse environments, algorithms to control the music of a rhythm-based game according to player actions, to the back-end tech that facilitates esports and video game streaming. Regardless of your innovation area, we know how to speak the EPO’s language when it comes to establishing a ‘technical effect’ and levelling up your patent portfolio.

Protecting your brand in a dynamic and expanding industry

The rapid growth of the video game industry has brought with it some of the biggest entertainment brands of all time. Grand Theft Auto, FIFA-licensed games, and Fortnite are household trade marks, and with them come IP challenges including trade mark clearance, filing and protection issues.
Video game creators are at the forefront of testing the limits of what can be protected under multimedia marks, including an application to register the clip of a “kill cam” that pushes the limits of what is both recognised as a trade mark, and what is morally acceptable for registration.

Similarly, enforcement of what is claimed to be a proprietary right in a dance move, used as an in-game celebration, has hit the headlines, with questions as to the type and ownership of such rights. This is on top of the usual concerns when trying to traverse crowded trade mark registers for software products.
Regardless of the mark, Kilburn & Strode’s team can advise on clearance, filing strategy and enforcement considerations for new gaming products, as well as guidance on what commercially viable aspects can be protected – be that trade marks, designs, or copyright works.

Supporting the video game community

We’re not only technical and legal experts, we’re gamers with a desire to give back to the community. Kilburn & Strode is proud to sponsor Limit Break: a mentorship program aimed at underrepresented people working in the UK games industry.
We are also long-term supporters of More Than Just a Game, a unique series of academic-led conferences on Games and Interactive Entertainment Law that brings together creators, innovators, researchers, industry experts, in-house counsels, and practitioners to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and explore solutions.

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