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July 17, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Can I Get a Design or Utility Patent on Changes to an Existing Board Game Like Chess?

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00:04

All right. So Robert would like to know, I have a chess game that is very unique. What is the chance of getting a patent for both a physical set and a digital set? And would that be in design? Or utility?

00:20
Yeah, so it's perfect. So you said it's Robert or Roger, Robert. Okay. Yeah. So So Robert, we Years Ago, I obtained a patent for a client on a method of playing chess, a chess move. And it wasn't a specific, it was no change to the existing pieces or board. So you can actually patent a method or a chess move as well. But your question is a new, a new, if you're changing the pieces, or you're changing the game board, you absolutely can get a patent. However, keep in mind that you don't want in a case like that, I would think you don't want a design patent. Because it's not just the look of the individual pieces, I mean, a horse on a game on a game of chess, or the pawn, or the rook, or the king, really matter to somebody who's playing what the King piece looks like, as long as you can tell it's a king, then that might be all you need. So you probably want a utility patent, because then it will protect you and prevent a competitor from making minor changes to the way the software looks, or sorry, the way the pieces look, and the way the board looks. So hopefully that helps. But you could follow both. If you think if you say John, it's not just the way the game is played, or my board or my pieces, but I liked the horse that I made. And I liked the king that I made. And I liked the rook that I made. I don't want anybody to copy my horse piece, then you need both. You need a design patent to protect the look and the utility patent to protect the function. So I'm

01:58
not sure if you're familiar with the Harry Potter movies, but in there, they have a chess board. That's called the wizarding chess where the pieces all have a very distinctive looks. Is that what you're talking about?

02:10
Yeah, yeah, perfect. So that would be the piece of that specific looks. And you could file a design patent to protect the look of the pieces. But if the rules are different, you could file a utility patent to protect the way it's played. Now, going to the Harry Potter series, there's also a What's the game the game? That's unusual? They fly around on Quidditch? Quidditch? Right. So yeah, how do you spell that and so on that what, you know if it's the piece, if not the ball, if it's different than any other ball, and what is it called?

02:52
The snitch the Golden Snitch? Okay. Yeah.

02:54
So they could file you could file a design patent for that look. But if it's if it functions differently, then maybe it's you know, you could also get a utility patent

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