Pleasant View, TN asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Tennessee

Q: The game that I've created has many businesses that reflect real businesses. Logos and names changed. Is this legal?

I'm a Game Developer and my game contains many businesses that reflect those of real life. For example, there is a fast food restaurant called TFC that has a black and white logo of a cowboy. This virtual location looks similar to KFC, using a similar font and color pattern. Will I get in trouble upon release? The game is NOT centered around this establishment.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using businesses in your game that closely resemble real-life businesses, including logos and names changed, can potentially raise legal issues related to trademark infringement and intellectual property rights. While your game may not be centered around these establishments, if the similarities are substantial enough to cause confusion among consumers or imply an association with the real businesses, you could face legal consequences upon release.

To minimize the risk of legal trouble, it's advisable to avoid using trademarks, logos, or names that are closely associated with real businesses without obtaining proper permission or licenses. Instead, consider creating original businesses and brands for your game that are distinct from real-world counterparts. This can help you avoid potential infringement claims and ensure that your game does not violate the intellectual property rights of others.

If you're unsure about the legality of using certain elements in your game, it may be wise to consult with a legal professional who can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances. They can help you assess the potential risks and advise you on how to proceed to ensure compliance with trademark and intellectual property laws. By taking proactive steps to address potential legal issues, you can minimize the risk of facing legal challenges upon releasing your game.

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