Copyright/Trademark Infringement

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by InTheWoodlands, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. InTheWoodlands macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    I know next to nothing about laws pertaining to copyright/trademark infringement. To what extent do they apply to iPhone apps? Am I allowed to create a game which is identical to a commercially released board game as long as I call it something else? An example is the "4 in a Row" game. The developer of this game did a very nice job even down to the etchings on the playing pieces. As a developer, do you have to get the permission of someone like Milton Bradley?
  2. DreamPod macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2008
    Depends on how close you are. For example, Scrabulous, a Scrabble clone on Facebook, is being sued by Hasbro because their board has the exact same pattern of bonus squares as Scrabble.
  3. cheekybobcat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
    U-S of A
    Just to be safe, change something around. Add a little feature here and there or just switch stuff up. You can keep the basic idea of the game the same but you don't want to clone a game and slap a different name on it and call it original.
  4. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    Buy an hour of a trademark lawyer's time to be sure.

    Or waste 5 months of work only to find apple yanks it off the store because milton bradley or someone says you are infringing on their trademark.
  5. InTheWoodlands thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    True. I would assume that Apple has lawyers working this angle to protect themselves.
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    That would be infringing on their *copyright*. Infringing on trademark would be if you wrote a word game and called it "Skrabble." That can be considered infringing a trademark even if your game has nothing in common with Scrabble other than being in the same general category as Scrabble, that is, a word game. Depending on how broad the trademark registration for Scrabble is, you could impinge on the trademark if you name *any* game something that was similar to Scrabble.

    Trademark infringements, however, are easy to correct -- just call your game something else! Copyright infringement is another story altogether -- correcting a copyright infringement would probably require you to go back to the drawing board and redesign your game from scratch.
  7. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    Good catch. Thank you. I stand corrected.

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