How do you know when a name is taken?

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Post » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:25 pm

When you are naming your game, how do you know if it is okay to use the name you pick?

Obviously, if a big name game has the same name, then it would be out, I assume, especially if your game is similar. Probably can't use it either if a popular movie uses it I guess.

However, if our game doesn't have anything to do with those things, can we still use it?

Made up Example: a game or movie called "The Death of War" has been out for some time, but is about WW2 or something. Our game is a medieval game about samurai or something. Can we use that title?

For my actual game, all I saw was some crummy game on Sploder that happened to have the same title. It looks like some generic free-ware game though.

Obviously, this is for games that are going to sell or at least put on major platforms (steam, windows 8, whatever).DrewMelton2013-11-26 21:26:26
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Post » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:20 pm

I just searched on google and didn't find anything. After you pick a name you can try and copyright it.

You can read more about it here: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131951/hey_thats_my_game_intellectual_.php?print=1

Edit: I mean, I just searched my game name on Google and didn't find anything. I had like 3-4 backup names too, just in case.andreyin2013-11-26 22:21:46
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:00 am

Hmm, that article seems to be more about gameplay and getting your own copyrights.

I need to know specifically about naming a game so I can get that out of the way and get to work on title screen graphics and whatnot. Not that I'm anywhere near completion. I just started. But might as well attach a name to it.
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:15 pm

Traditionally, in the movie and video game industry, you can reuse a certain name, as long as it isn't a deposited brand, or that your logo doesn't plagiarizes or partially copy another game name's visual identity. In other terms, as long as there isn't a copyright or other international protection on a brand, you can use it. But that's theoretical.

In practice, if you don't protect your brand or game in general, a company with enough funds and good lawyers could quickly deposit it as a brand and put you into a lawsuit.
There is no real jurisprudence for video games in France for example, and I believe games also have some bastard-ish status in the US too. Anyway, every developer commercializing games independently should work with a lawyer specialized into intellectual property. Because, well, this topic is a pure mess.Valerien2013-11-27 12:16:21
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:43 pm

I thought you could only get in trouble with pattented names.
The rest is just intellectual propperty copyrights.
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:50 pm

You can use anything that isn't copyrighted.
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:52 pm

[QUOTE=plinkie] You can use anything that isn't copyrighted.[/QUOTE]

then a simple question for you @plinkie, what makes something copyrighted ? :)
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:55 pm

I meant trademarked I guess
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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:31 pm

[QUOTE=plinkie] I meant trademarked I guess[/QUOTE]

What I mentioned earlier is the gist of whether or not you can use a name.

Trademarked, pattented. meaning some company payed 80k/120k for a concept/name.

If you simply place a copyright sign, or notice, or a trademark emblem ... and its not in fact pattented or copyrighted at all, it doesnt really make any difference.
A disclaimer or use policies definition about content does.

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Post » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:07 pm

Copyright happens as soon as you create something but it's not exactly airtight and doesn't protect a lot of things, not the idea or a name. Use of a trademarked name that has been registered is trademark infringement though.
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