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I'm creating a game featuring some characters from the Dragon Ball universe and was wondering if I'm able to patent (or copywrite, not sure which one would be better in this case) my game even though it uses things from their industry? Thanks!

  • You are going to have to be careful you aren't violating someone else's intellectual property. – Eric Shain Apr 6 '17 at 2:34
  • You may want to review this similar question about patentability of games: patents.stackexchange.com/questions/17458/game-patentability – Eric Shain Apr 6 '17 at 19:21
  • To make this a better question you might learn about the difference between copyright, patents and trademarks. Also, you need to understand the difference between protecting your value-added IP and the rights needed to use their intellectual property in a commercial product. – George White Apr 20 '17 at 21:43
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In principle, yes. The parts that are your work will be protected by copyright (code, designs, ...) automatically. The parts that are not yours obviously not, but the combination as such will be. (As fas as copyright applies, which is pretty far. You can look up what exactly is protected by copyright).

For patents, you have to fulfill the requierements (novelty, inventive step) where the characters will count as prior art. However, they do not impede you from getting a patent on other patentable parts of the game.

As Eric Shain mentioned in a comment, using someone else's intellectual property (the characters are probably protected at least by copyrights) requires a license if you want to be safe against a lawsuit. So make sure you check that you don't use something which you may not.

  • Using someone else's IP in a patent application would not generally be an infringement. Making, selling, using or importing a product or performing a patented method could infringe. – George White Apr 14 '17 at 23:30
  • @GeorgeWhite I meant using the IP for the game. – DonQuiKong Apr 15 '17 at 8:46

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