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July 24, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Can I Get a Patent on a Board Game I Invented? I Want to Protect My Board Game Invention Idea!

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Rachel's question is, is it possible to patent a board game? Okay, terrific. First question, is it possible to patent a board game? So what I want to start with and and I think we some of our listeners if they've been here before, a great first place to start is the four categories of invention. And a board game set certainly qualify. So I'll give you the short answer is yes, you absolutely can patent a board game. But these are the four categories that every invention has to fulfill. And Gaby if you want to put these as I write them, I'm trying to keep my writing clear, but that way, if you type them in the chat room, anybody that misses it, so the first type of of idea that is patentable is a machine. Second, is an article of manufacture is pretty much any manufactured article. I'll put article N for short, and Gaby will take care of that. The third is a composition of matter.

Composition and again, and then finally, the fourth category is sometimes called a method, also a process. So what was Alessia? What was the inventors name? That just the first name? Rachel, Rachel. So Rachel, Europe, these are the four categories of machine article of manufacture or composition of matter, or a process. So for games, obviously, are going to be their articles of manufacture. If you think of the the board game, for example, from monopoly, it's got a card, it's got a board, it's got pieces, maybe dice, maybe whatever else, game pieces, cards, all of these things are articles of manufacture. If there's something unique about the actual physical components of your game, you can protect it as an article of manufacture. One example of a game might be when I was growing up, there was this game called Hungry Hungry Hippos. And it was this plastic board that had a bunch of Hippo heads. And a ball, when you would press down on a lever, the hippo would go out and grab the ball. That's not a board game, per se, that's, that's also or it could be considered a board style game, but that you would protect as an article manufacturer, because of how unique that was, how different it was. If your game is using pieces, and components that are not that unique, like maybe you have a game that you've developed a board game that has, you know, whatever, you know, use this as we'll leave this up, because we may refer to this later on. So the four categories of invention, so those are going to be critical. So I'll leave that up in the back. So you have a board game, and your board game has, I guess, a path that that you have to follow. And this is where you start. And whoever gets here first wins. And you have different, obviously, different steps along the way. So that in itself, there is nothing particularly unique about the article of manufacture. And a board game like this, you've got pieces, like of course, assume all of this is, is a board. So you've got different pieces, whatever they're, they're shaped like and you've got a board, you've got spaces, there is nothing unique in the process in this board game, from an article manufacturer standpoint, this isn't like Hungry Hungry Hippos where you've got levers and gears and hippo heads that pop out. This would not be protectable as an article of manufacture. However, if you've created a unique set of rules, a unique set of steps in order to play this game. So you've got let's say, step one. And then step two, step three, and so on and so forth. You've got this unique series of steps. Now, you might be able to protect your board game, not as an article of manufacture. And of course, it's not a machine. So I just want to make that clear. There's plenty of examples you don't have to think too hard to think of a machine that's patentable. An engine that runs on water would be an example of a machine could also be an article manufacturer, those are protectable as patents But this particular board game could be protected as a process. But we will run this it can read the board. And of course, Gabi may have put these four categories in the chat box you have if you have any idea, it absolutely has to fit into one of these four categories. So that it would be a process, if the unique steps are different. If there's something about your game that is so unique, that it's actually the pieces the board the physical components that you can hold. If those you think are unique enough, then you could protect the board game as an article of manufacture. So terrific question, Rachel. If you wanted to find out about your specific board game, there's no charge for an initial consultation and Gabby can put our phone number on. So call our office, we'd be happy to take a look at what you have confirmed that it's patentable subject matter. And then, and then we can proceed from there. But yes, that wouldn't knock your idea because it's a board game. And you might be thinking that patents are for a highly complicated subject matter and nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, a patent is for something that new, useful and non obvious. So it doesn't necessarily complexity is not one of the requirements.

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