I am an individual developer making a game. Can I apply for patent, or is there any way to protect that game concept/idea, so that if any other developer or company wants to use that concept/idea in their game they'd have to get my permission?

Example there are many racing games but I make a racing game in which players race backwards. I just changed the concept of the game.

By definition, a patent is a protection for your intellectual property (that you invented) from being copied. In the case of your game idea, in the form of a patent, it is considered your invention.

A patent is unique in the fact that it can protect your idea.

The concept for your game that is uniquely yours can be patented and the idea behind it protected.


Can this change in concept be patented, or is there any other way to protect that concept?

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    Where you want to file for patent? Do you want to sell a game that lives of extensions or bosters? Is your game really unique? It Has been done in the past: Magic the gathering did patent some unique and new features when it was new. patents.google.com/patent/US5662332A/en - Back in 1994 the whole concept of Trading card games and "tapping" was novel. But is your new game?
    – Trish
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 17:15
  • Getting something patented is usually not the main hurdle. The larger problem is making a profit from that patent. The best way would be selling it. Otherwise, you need to handle the (potentially expensive) task of protecting your patent rights. Of course, we assume here that your idea is actually valuable (which quite often is not the case).
    – Roland
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


If you have a truly novel and non-obvious game idea, you could patent it, and that would cost many tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (U.S.) in legal fees, etc. and probably a couple of years of patent prosecution, if your idea has not already entered the public domain through public display or sale.

Most ideas for games are either not novel, or would be obvious to a person skilled in designing games. But, if your idea is really and truly new, you could do it.

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    Patent prosecution of one application in one country would be small numbers of tens of thousands but not hundreds of thousands unless you took a rejection by an examiner to the PTAB and then took a rejection of the board to the Federal Circuit. Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 22:16
  • @GeorgeWhite Obviously very approximate figures representing unexceptional cases.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 23:39
  • My comment was that 100,000 would be an extremely exceptional case going beyond patent prosecution at the USPTO. Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 1:42
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    @SahilGoyal: Just about the only way to determine whether a patent will be granted is to file for one. Sometimes a difference that seems massive to you will seem trivial to the examiner (though explanation might be convincing as to its importance) or vice versa. Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 6:31
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    @SahilGoyal: I should also add that I've seen patents end up hinging on things that were quite accidental as originally written. Years ago I was involved in a case over a patent that was originally about a security system that did enough video compression at the camera to allow it to connect to the rest of the system via a modem. It did, however, rather accidentally happen to apparently be the first patent for a security camera that mentioned using stepper motors rather than servos to move the camera. The court didn't really understand modems, so the stepper motors ended up mattering a lot. Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 6:48

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