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We were recently introduced to the game Nine Square in the Air by some friends. We decided to try it out at our non-profit camp, so we built our own version. Later on, someone brought it to our attention that the game design may be patented. What do we do now?

  • Assuming your project was infringing, was this project distributed or sold in some manner? Being "non profit" doesn't have any bearing on it being infringing, but whether you made this product available to the public or only (re)invented it as an educational exercise might. – Robert Cartaino Feb 11 '15 at 20:23
  • Not distributed, sold or advertised. We simply have it available as an option for play during free time at our camp. – Nathan Feb 13 '15 at 0:03
  • USD656995 is patented by pastor Steve Otey, the inventor of the game. His Web site sells the kits and the about page had notice of about the patent and copyright, so clearly the inventor wants to commercialize it. To avoid legal trouble, it's probably better to buy a connector kit from them ($399, not cheap) and use your own pipes. – daniel Mar 9 '16 at 1:31
2

9 Square lists two design patents,

  1. D656995, issued April 3, 2012
  2. D650445, issued December 13, 2011.

Source

Now being Non-Profit and controlled use you might have some option for security, but certainly you have to consult attorney about further use of this game. Alternatively if you have been not given notice stop the use and try alternative of present game.

Further For infringement of design patents

design patent infringement test is not a minute analysis of detail but rather a test that asks whether the overall appearance of the patent and accused designs are substantially same in the eyes of an ordinary observer

if you feel that your modifications are out of the above test then consult a legal expert either to file patent application or get opinion on further use.

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