How to patent a board game uk [Expert-Advice]



Last updated : Sept 5, 2022
Written by : Elina Schwier
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How to patent a board game uk

How do I patent a game idea UK?

To patent an idea, you apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) by completing a patent application form and drafting the patent specification. It is, however, recommended to do a worldwide patent search beforehand.

How much does it cost to invent a board game?

It usually takes $18,00 to $20,000 to get a game made and start a business, but some businesses start with lower or higher costs.

How much do patents cost UK?

It will cost at least £310 if you complete the process. To have the best chance of getting a patent granted you will usually also need to pay a patent attorney for help and advice. This can cost several thousand pounds.

Can a board game be patented?

A patent covers an “invention,” a broad category covering both physical objects and more abstract methods. Patents definitely cover processes, and since board games are at an innermost level processes for entertainment, they are eminently patentable, so long as they meet the general requirements for patentability.

How do you get a board game manufactured?

Contact a factory Reach out to a factory and tell them what pieces your game needs to have. They will then get you a quote for how much each component will cost. They'll also tell you how many you have to order for them to produce it (usually around 1,000 units).

How do I start a new board game?

  1. Create an outline of your board game on a sheet of paper.
  2. On a sheet of paper, sketch out what you want your board game to look like.
  3. Create your board game.
  4. Make the pull cards by cutting blank note cards in half.
  5. Gather the game tokens and dice.
  6. Finally, it's time to play!

How much does it cost to publish a game?

Most indie publishers expect games to come in around $250k to $500k for development costs; so think of that upper amount as a team of 5 people working for 2 years on a game.

How long does a UK patent take?

The process for obtaining a UK granted patent usually takes about four years from the date of the application.

Is it worth patenting an idea?

In some industries, patents are absolutely critical. But in far more they are not. It's a well-known fact that a vast majority of patents are worthless. Around 97% of all patents never recoup the cost of filing them.

Can someone steal my idea if I have a patent pending?

What Is Patent Pending Infringement? As soon as you file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), your invention is "Patent Pending." Once your application is submitted, nobody can steal, sell, or use your invention without your permission.

How do I patent a game?

  1. Keep detailed documentation that includes drawings and rules for the game.
  2. Build a prototype.
  3. Conduct a patent search to verify no patent is already in the same field.
  4. Fill out and file the United States Patent and Trademark Office's patent application.

How do I protect my board game idea?

Copyrights and Design Patent – Work with a patent attorney to register your game board designs under Design Patent and copyright law. this will cover the actual design of the board. A Design Patent will enable you to exclude others from making, selling, or using your patented board design for a period of 14 years.

How much does it cost to copyright a game?

If you file a paper application with the Copyright Office, the cost to formally register a copyright is $85. (6) the application must be submitted by the author/claimant or an authorized third party.

How long does it take to manufacture a board game?

Now, it typically takes me about six months to 12 months to develop a game, and then the publisher takes another 6 to 12 months to produce it and manufacture it.

What is the biggest board game company?

Hasbro. Needless to say, Hasbro has truly been one of the top 10 toy companies in Europe and across the world, thanks to its slew of toy products that are manufactured based on popular cultures.

How do you sell games to a company?

  1. Sell via platforms for gamers. Some of the most popular distribution platforms include Steam, Desura, and GOG.
  2. Sell to business. As opposed to gamer's distribution platforms, developers can also sell their games to wholesale and retail businesses.
  3. Sell via your own website.

How can I create my own game?

  1. Pick a concept. Generate a few game concepts to see what kind of game you want to make.
  2. Gather information. Game creation involves extensive research.
  3. Start building.
  4. Refine your concept.
  5. Test your game.
  6. Market the finished product.

What makes a board game a board game?

Board games are tabletop games that typically use pieces . These pieces are moved or placed on a pre-marked board (playing surface) and often include elements of table, card, role-playing, and miniatures games as well.

Do I need a publisher for my game?

If your experience is mainly in developing games but you have limited experience with the business side of things, you should definitely consider a publisher if you want to scale. But if you want to remain small and maintain full control, self-publishing may be a good option.

How much can you make off a board game?

You get average 3-5% per game sold and most games sell around 1000 units at best, sometimes upwards of 10k or more if it gets positive review response and retail reaction. Lets say your game retails at 50$. And you are getting 3$. If it sells 1k copies, you make 1500$ 15000 if it sold 10k.


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How to patent a board game uk


Comment by Morton Poat

rachel's question is is it possible to patent a board game okay uh terrific first question is it possible to patent a board game so uh what i want to start with and um and i think we some of uh our listeners if they've been here before a great first place to start is the four categories of invention and a board game certainly qualifies so i'll give you the short answer is yes you absolutely can pat in a board game but these are the four categories that every invention has to fulfill and gabby if you want to put these as i write them i'm trying to keep my writing clear but that way if you type them in the chat room anybody that misses it so the first type of of idea uh that is patentable is a machine the second is an article of manufacture it's pretty much any uh manufactured article i'll put an article of m for for short and gaby will take care of that the third is a composition of matter put composition of m again and then finally the fourth category is sometimes called a method also a process so what was um alessia what was the uh inventor's name that just the first name rachel rachel so rachel you're these are the four categories uh machine article manufacturer composition of matter or a process so board games obviously are going to be they're articles of manufacture if you think of the board game for example for monopoly it's got a card it's got a board it's got pieces maybe dice maybe whatever else game pieces cards all of these things are articles of manufacture if there's something unique about the actual physical components of your game you can protect it as an article of manufacture one example of a game might be when i was growing up there's this game called hungry hungry hippos and it was this plastic board that had a bunch of hippo heads and a ball when you press down on a lever the hippo would go out and grab the ball that's not a board game per se that's that's also or it could be considered a board style game but that you would protect as an article manufacturer because of how unique that was how different it was if your game is using pieces and components that are not that unique like maybe you have a game that you've developed a board game that has uh you know what you know use this as we'll leave this up because we may refer to this later on so the four categories of inventions so those are going to be critical so i'll leave that up in the back uh say you have a board game and your board game has i guess a path that that you have to follow and this is where you start and whoever gets here first wins and you have different obviously different steps along the way so that in itself there is nothing particularly unique about the article of manufacture and a board game like this you've got pieces like of course assume all this is uh is a board so you've got different pieces uh whatever they're they're shaped like um and you've got a board you've got spaces there is nothing unique on in the frost in this board game from an article manufacturer's standpoint this isn't like hungry hungry hippos where you've got levers and gears and hippo heads that pop out uh this would not be protectable as an article of manufacture however if you've created a unique set of rules uh a unique set of steps in order to play this game so you've got let's say step one and then step two step three and so on and so forth you've got this unique series of steps now you might be able to protect your board game not as an article of manufacturer and of course it's not a machine so i just want to make that clear there's uh plenty of examples you don't have to think too hard to think of a machine that's patentable uh an an engine that runs on water would be an example of a machine it could also be an article manufactured those are protectable as patents but this particular board game could be protected as a process over on this side so you can read the board and of course gabby may have put these four categories in the chat box you have if you have a new idea it absolutely has to fit into one of these four categories so it would be a process if the unique steps are different if there's something about your game that is so unique that it's actually the pieces the board the physical components that you can hold if those you think are unique enough then you could protect the board game as an article of manufacture so terrific question rachel um if you wanted to find out about your specific board game uh there's no charge for an initial consultation and gabby can put our phone number on so call our office we'd be happy to take a look at what you have confirm that it's patentable subject matter and then uh and then we can proceed from there but yes i wouldn't knock your idea because it's a board game and you might be thinking that that patents are for a highly complicated uh subject matter and nothing could be further from the truth i mean a pattern is for something that's uh new useful and non-obvious so it doesn't necessarily complexity is not one of the requirements


Thanks for your comment Morton Poat, have a nice day.
- Elina Schwier, Staff Member


Comment by grebojat

hi I'm Adam Porter and this is my board gaming vlog and I haven't actually made a vlog like this for some time it's taken Co vid 19 and lock down in the UK to get me in front of this camera again just because I was so busy before the lockdown and since then just you know you've got so much on your mind anyway I'm here to make this video and that the impetus for it was because I had a few questions yesterday on my YouTube channel from a viewer called fan Rick and I thought well why not make a video to answer those questions so I'll try and make a series of videos to answer each of the questions over the next couple of days the first question that I wanted to address was a question that you hear quite a lot from designers and particularly new designers about how do you protect your game ideas so other people can't steal them from you and so I ought to start off by saying I'm not a lawyer I am a dentist and a game designer and I have a few games to my name so I've got five games on the market my first game was in 2017 big Bazaar and I've got another five games that are under contract currently and hopefully will be released at some point over the next year or two and then others that I'm pitching so I've got some experience in the area of contracts and getting games onto the market and also I've run a game design group along with a colleague of mine Rob Fisher for about what six years now I think something like that maybe more weekly so we've spend a lot of time play testing people's prototypes and we've come across issues over the years and this question gets asked commonly so the first thing that I thought I'd talk about is the general consensus that you find on the internet if you ask this sort of question or if you look this this up and the consensus is don't worry about it basically you've got an awful lot to gain by showing your game to an awful lot of people people will have so much input you'll get loads of valuable input from play testers other designers will tell you how to make your game even better then you put it in front of publishers and they may not particularly want to take the game on for various reasons but they'll tell you why they'll tell you how to improve it or maybe they'll tell you what a publisher that might take it on even if they won't so it is definitely of great value to you getting your game in front of people and the risks of doing so are relatively small so why is that I mean shouldn't you be thinking about copywriting your game or patenting it or trademarking it or something like that protecting that intellectual property and I think the general consensus is no it's a bit of a waste of time even trying to do that stuff trademarks are there for name of game logo you know specific things like color schemes and stuff like that you can trademark these things so other people can't use them that's not going to help you as a designer that really is the the publishers remit if they want to do that at a later date patents I don't fully understand patents but they tend to be about inventions useful items and specific ideas put together in a very specific way so it's very easy to get round a patent just by tweaking one tiny little thing you don't tend to see patents in board games with relatively few minor examples you know which which which break there break the rule copyrights then copyright is what we're really talking about and copyright is automatic as soon as you write some words or put some artwork together that is copyrighted you have to do anything with it to make it copyrighted it belongs to you but ideas do not you cannot copyright an idea or not easily you could copyright the artwork you can copyright the wording but you can't copyright the rules themselves which is why you end up seeing so many clones of popular games if you go to your supermarket you know you might see guess who the classic sort of Hasbro game or Milton Bradley game or whatever brand it's under now but you'll also see you know some other branded version which is called something like who is it and and it's just a cheap knockoff version but they can get away with that because the ideas are not copyrighted and they've changed the artwork and they change the name and they've changed the wording of the rules they've rewritten it and you can get away with that stuff so actually you're far more vulnerable to ripoffs of your game after your game is published then you are beforehand before your game is published chance of someone taking it and running with it and stealing your ideas are very slim aside from anything else everyone's got their own ideas if somebody is motivated to make games they've probably got their own ideas and their own things that they're passionate about they want to pursue but really it's a numbers game before you've published your game your game is going to have been seen you know by i mean maybe you've got it in front of a hundred play testers maybe more you've got it in front of a handful of publishers again maybe more but these are self selecting groups these play testers are likely to be your friends and friends of friends and acquaintances people who know you and respect you and don't want to rip you off they might be play testers a regular play test groups which means they've got a feel for the industry they're engaged with the industry they want you to look at their game as well so so they're going to be respectful of yours you know these are not the people who are likely to steal your ideas the same with the publishers if you're going to show your game to a publisher it's likely to be at a convention or a trade fair the publishers that go to these places that engage with the hobby side the community side of the the Hobby these are not the people who are going to rip you off because their reputation means a lot to them and they're gamers too once your game is published however it's going to be seen by thousands and thousands and thousands of strangers spread all across the world and then who knows what people are going to do and you do see problems particularly over the last few years we've seen a massive rise in counterfeit copies of games people direct piracy where people have taken not just the ideas but the artwork the name they've created a carbon copy of a popular game and stuck it up on Amazon or Ebay and it's very hard for that for you to deal with that stuff you can't protect your game against that stuff as a designer it's automatically protected by law anyway but the onus is on the publisher to to fight that and to push to get those counterfeits shut down the other stuff that you tend to see and it's rare but it does happen is that people will take a popular game they'll Rieti MIT they'll put new artwork on it a new name a new setting but they might not change many of the rules and then now put it up on Kickstarter or some other crowdfunding Avenue and they'll either declare it as a tribute to the original game or they won't declare it as having anything to do with the original game at all and then it takes this sort of I mean people aren't idiots people spot this stuff and say well hang on that's th


Thanks grebojat your participation is very much appreciated
- Elina Schwier


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