Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: A New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law

Front Cover
American Bar Association, 2010 - Computers - 270 pages
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This book explores and discusses how to obtain traditional intellectual property law rights in the non-traditional settings of video game and virtual world environments, and serves as a primer for researching these emerging legal issues. Each chapter addresses: end user license agreements; copyrights, patents, trademarks; and trade secrets, as addressed by U.S. law. It also covers international legal issues stemming from the multi-national user-base and foreign operation of many virtual worlds.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
What Is a Virtual World?
3
How to Use This Book
4
EndUser License Agreements The Private Law in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
5
Introduction
6
I Purpose and Scope of EndUser License Agreements
7
B Common Provisions in Modern EULAs
12
One Brief Example
14
II Obtaining Patents for Inventions for Video Games and Virtual Worlds
122
B Claiming Considerations
131
III Using a Patent in or for a Virtual World
134
B LicensingOwnership
139
IV What Law Applies to Define Virtual Patent Rights? Can a EULA Change Things?
140
A A Virtual Patent System
141
Conclusion
143
Implications of Video Games and Virtual Worlds in Trademark Law
145

D The Unpredictable Future of EULAs
17
II Current and Potential Limitations on EndUser License Agreements Stemming from Court Decisions and Legislation
19
B Modifications
27
C Privity of Contract
30
D State Consumer Protection Limitations on EULAs
35
E Minors
37
III Potential Resolutions to Intellectual Property Issues and Private Law Issues in Both Video Games and Virtual Worlds
40
B Judicial Response
42
C Legislative Response
44
Conclusion
46
Copyright Law Implications in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
47
Introduction
48
I Basic Requirements for Copyright Protection
49
B Originality
53
C Fixation
54
D Limitations on the Scope of Copyright Protection
55
II Copyrightable Elements of Video Games and Virtual Worlds
57
B Virtual World Creations as Protectable Works of Authorship
60
C Enhanced Copyrightability of Certain Items in Virtual Worlds
62
D Unprotectable Elements of Virtual Worlds
66
E Copyright Coverage
68
A Derivative Works and Compilations
70
B Ownership Rights in Virtual Worlds
74
C Works Made for Hire
75
D Transferring Ownership of InGame Items
79
IV Licensing
82
A Traditional Licensing Agreements
83
B Establishing Rights in and Transferring Rights to Virtual World Content
84
V Formalities
88
B Copyright Notice
91
VI Enforcement
92
A Establishing a Claim of Infringement
93
B ThirdParty Claims
96
C Methods of Copyright Infringement in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
98
D Defenses
103
E Damages
106
Alternatives to Litigation
107
Conclusion
109
RealWorld Patent Issues for a Virtual World
111
Introduction
112
B Patent Infringement
119
Introduction
146
I Overview of Trademark Protection
147
II Trademark Issues in the Video Game and Virtual World Contexts
155
Physical Products
156
Direct Liability
158
Secondary Liability
160
III Analysis of Trademark Issues Common in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
161
A Trademark Use
169
B Nominative Fair Use
174
C First Amendment
178
Trademark Infringement and Misappropriation
180
V Secondary Liability
184
Conclusion
186
Implications of Video Games and Virtual Worlds and the Law of Trade Secrets
187
I Trade Secrets Generally
188
B The Competitive Advantage Requirement
191
C The Secrecy Requirement
193
D Trade Secret Information Protected by Other IP Laws
197
II Trade Secrets in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
200
Behind the Scenes
206
III Applying the Traditional Analysis to Video Game and Virtual World Issues
208
IV What Remedies Are Available for Trade Secret Misappropriation?
209
B Damages
212
Conclusion
213
International Considerations of Virtual Worlds
215
Introduction
216
I International Copyright Issues in Virtual Worlds
218
II International Trademark Issues
225
B Enforcement and the Special Case of Foreign Defendants
228
C Comparative Patent Law Issues
230
D Infringement and Enforcement
234
III International Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
235
A High Level of Interactivity
236
B Routine CrossBorder Transactions with International Effects
237
C Central Server or Servers
238
Conclusion
242
CONCLUSION
245
TABLE OF CASES
247
INDEX
265
Copyright

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