A game named Blinx, was manufactured last in 2004 by a company named Microsoft. In 2014-2015 they dropped the trademark, and so the name is usable, but the game, the intellectual material is copyrighted. If I don't use their images or their code, can I legally reproduce the game?


If you mean to "make a game with the same game rules and logic, but with new code & new graphics", then yes, you can.

Copyright protects an expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. In the context of game development, an idea can be tic-tac-toe game. I write a webpage with JavaScript to play the game, that is my expression. You cannot reproduce my webpage without my consent, but you are free to code an exact replica of the game say, in iOS.

To prevent someone from making a game with the exact (or very similar) rules, you'd need a patent. Two famous games which are patented are "Monopoly" (they got the name right!) and Tetris*. There is a reason why you see people making many Reversi, Sudoku, Tic-Tac-Toe etc implementations in the app store, but not Monopoly and Tetris.

*Technically, Tetris is not protected by patent, only by copyright. Many developers have rejected the company's copyright infringement claims as game design is not covered by copyright.

  • 1
    IMO the question calls for some analysis of "look and feel" case law.
    – user6726
    Jan 10 '17 at 0:55
  • 1
    Fun fact: any patents on Tetris or Monopoly will have expired by now.
    – Mark
    Jan 10 '17 at 2:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.