Kennesaw, GA asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Georgia

Q: How would I go about obtaining the copyright to an old abandoned game?

The trademark was abandoned by Microsoft in 2015, and the company that developed the game, Artoon went defunct in 2010.

And further more about how much would it cost to purchase something like that?

1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • los angeles, CA

A: Copyright is an asset just like physical possessions. If the company is in fact out of business, their assets went somewhere (and now belong to someone, such as the original owner's heirs, or another entity or individual) following the company's dissolution. Therefore you still must have the owner's permission to use their copyrighted material. To find the current owner, you can try searching the US Copyright office's database. You can also try contacting the last known agent listed for the trademark (i.e. connected to the now defunct Artoon). A thorough internet search may uncover there whereabouts of the company's assets. There are also companies you can try hiring to run a chain of title search and report for you if it's a difficult property to locate.

Unfortunately, locating the owner is only half the battle, as you'll still need to negotiate a purchase price or license fee, once you find the owner. The cost could be virtually anything, depending on what the owner thinks the property is worth, and how good your negotiation skills are.

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