Gaming Questions & Answers by State

Gaming Questions & Answers

Q: Can Gaming Events offer cash prizes if children enter the event?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports and Gaming for Arizona on
Answered on Apr 15, 2018
Carrie A. Ward's answer
You will need to make sure the structure of your game does not trigger an illegal lottery concern. Illegal lotteries consist of 3 elements: (1) provision of a prize; (2) chance; and (3) consideration (i.e., money is paid to play). Event organizers should consult experienced promotions and sweepstakes counsel to advise you on how to structure your game legally. Other considerations such as the age of entrants may have to be taken into consideration too. However, experienced counsel can...
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Q: I want to know if I can sue a mobile game app.

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Jason Brooks' answer
The beauty (and more often, the detriment) of our American legal system is that anyone can sue somebody for anything -- the more pertinent question to ask here is: Do I have a *legitimate* lawsuit against this mobile developer for their allegedly unfair/deceptive business practices? To that, the answer is... maybe. If you were to file a lawsuit, AND find actual evidence through the Discovery process that supports your theory, then yes you could stand to win big. But the harsh reality is...
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Q: I own a gaming website that blogs and reviews to promote gaming companies.

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports and Gaming for California on
Answered on Mar 27, 2018
Carrie A. Ward's answer
You will need permission from the gaming companies to use images of their game that you are using in a promotional context. Taking screenshots from your own game and then using them for commercial purposes is not advisable.
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Q: Is it considered gambling for players to put monetary wagers on skill based games?

1 Answer | Asked in Entertainment / Sports and Gaming for New York on
Answered on Feb 25, 2018
Carrie A. Ward's answer
It is illegal when there are 3 elements present in the contest: (1) prize; (2) chance; and (3) consideration. In the scenario you describe above, the element of chance is missing in the equation.
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Q: I have a guy my PlayStation 4 to fix a couple of months ago. It's been two months can I call the authorities

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Products Liability, Gaming and Small Claims for Texas on
Answered on Feb 5, 2018
Kiele Linroth Pace's answer
This is probably not an issue of criminal law. If you released the item to him voluntarily it is not a crime ... unless there is some reason to question the effectiveness of your consent. For example if he tricked you in the first place and never had any intention of fixing it, then it could be alleged that consent was obtained by fraud.... but that can be hard to prove unless he has done it to others.

This is probably best handled in small claims court but might not be worth the...
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Q: If trademark is registered as board game (Goods and Services is: Board games) would it be enforceable under video games?

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Utah on
Answered on Jan 31, 2018
Andrew Zulieve Esq's answer
Possibly. The respective goods or services need not be identical to one another, only sufficiently related such that consumers would be expected to encounter the respective goods or services under similar buying conditions.
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Q: Question about "Customer Appreciation Giveaways"

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law, Gaming and Gov & Administrative Law for California on
Answered on Dec 22, 2017
Julie King's answer
Just avoiding the use of the words “raffle” and “sweepstakes” doesn’t help your situation one way or the other. The law would look at the way the contest operates. If people have to buy something in order to get a chance to win, it’s generally considered a lottery, which only the state can do. That’s why contests almost always say people can fill out a form and enter with NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You can have people come into your store to fill out a form, so at least you get them...
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Q: Can I use Albert Einstein's name and picture in a math game I'm making?

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability, Civil Litigation, Gaming and Intellectual Property for California on
Answered on Nov 27, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
Albert Einstein's image has been established as a protectable property. It is likely that a license would be required. The cost may fit within your margins and may make the game more desirable. One prudent course is to engage an attorney to contact the rights proprietor.
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Q: A contest ran with a deadline offering a cash prize, received many entries, & never picked/paid a winner. Is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Gaming and Internet Law for California on
Answered on Oct 11, 2017
William John Light's answer
No, it's not legal and it violates YouTube's own rules.

You can file a complaint with the California Attorney General.
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Q: Can my former employer force me to remove images of a video game I've worked on from my online portfolio?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming and Employment Law for California on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
To the extent that the question lays out facts, it appears that you created the images as part of your employment. There is a good chance that the employer owns the copyright in the images. You may wish to ask the employer if you can use the images along with an acknowledgement of the employer's ownership (if indeed that is the case).

See the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
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Q: What is the legality of creating and selling a board game based off a fictional board game from a TV show?

2 Answers | Asked in Gaming, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Answered on Sep 4, 2017
Barbara Berschler's answer
For copyright purposes, just as you cannot copy a real game, you may not copy from someone's imaginary game. In both instances, someone created the board game and to the extent the board was an expression of the idea of the game, then that would be off limits without the copyright owner's permission. However, if there is an "idea" of the game and you can determine what that idea is, and then come up with your original expression for the game board, you may be in a better position if...
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Q: Will I be able to use the likeness of presidents and celebrities for an app as characters. I would not use their names.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Libel & Slander for Florida on
Answered on Aug 8, 2017
Andy Wayne Williamson's answer
You should repost this question under the heading of intellectual property and copyright law. That will likely get you better answers from attorneys that deal with intellectual property rights.
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Q: I wanna write a book/make a game about a non-english song. Do I need to get copyright permissions or can I just credit?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Answered on Jul 17, 2017
Robert Philip Cogan's answer
A true answer would require review of the original material and a more precise description of exactly what you are doing. You would have to consult an attorney.

Here are a couple of observations. Crediting the original creators means that you are not a plagiarist. However, the credit could be viewed as a statement that you have copied the work.

Copyrights generally cover translations of the original.

Copyrights generally cover the lyrics separately as well as in the...
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Q: Hi, I was wondering if you are able to file patents for video game ideas that are built on a 3rd party platforms.

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on Jul 10, 2017
David E Blau's answer
The short answer is: yes, it's possible. Almost all patents are based on improving technology originally developed by someone else.

A patent can be filed on any new and useful process or improvement to a process. Playing Minecraft is a process (believe me, I know). You probably wouldn't file for a patent on actually playing the game, because enforcing that patent would mean suing potential customers. But looking at the situation in reverse, a computer performs certain processes to...
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Q: I am a programmer and this is a very specific question about NINTENDO .

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming and Internet Law on
Answered on Jun 27, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
If you use the name "Pokemon" or something substantially similar, you may be opening yourself up to liability for trademark infringement.

If you're going to enable others to create Pokemon games and others will be using Pokemon Company International, Inc.'s copyrighted materials, you are arguably committing a criminal act under 17 USC Section 1201.

To limit your potential legal liability, reach out to 2-3 attorneys experienced in federal copyright and trademark law before...
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Q: Hi, About Casino table game Patent number: D748736. How much would similar casino table game patent cost?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Gaming, Intellectual Property and Patents for Nevada on
Answered on Jun 20, 2017
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
Design patents applications preparation and filing run in the neighborhood of $1500 to $2000. Additionally, there is the cost of prosecution.

Good luck!
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Q: What kind of tax consequences a China's company will have when open website see virtual service for US consumers?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Tax Law, Gaming and International Law on
Answered on Jun 9, 2017
Michelle D. Wynn's answer
This is an excellent question for you to ask, as there may be US tax consequences as a result of this activity. However, there are a great many factors to be considered before someone here can answer even your basic questions, such as whether you have to report this income to the US government. Most likely you will have to report this income through US income tax return filings. I strongly suggest seeking professional assistance from a tax attorney or CPA who specializes in tax compliance for...
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Q: Is it legal for a game developer to add hidden fees to a game and not warn the players?

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming and Consumer Law for Illinois on
Answered on May 8, 2017
Ray Choudhry's answer
Your question is hard to understand.

You need to be more specific.
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Q: Couple questions about famous people likenesses and names can or can't be used in a video game.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Gaming for North Carolina on
Answered on May 5, 2017
Will Blackton's answer
1. Is it legal to use cartoon likenesses of famous/living American politicians or Hollywood actors in a video game? (artwork is original, my own)

It's certainly legal to do this *with the permission* of the person, or the permission of whoever may own the rights to their image and likeness. Without their permission, it may depend on how transformative your depiction of them is, that is, how much differently are they being portrayed from their real life counterpart. Are you parodying...
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Q: Are the quarter pusher machines like you see in convenience stores legal in the state of Colorado?

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 13, 2017
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
While Colorado has exceptions for "social gaming" and "charity gaming" (see a lawyer and/or the CO Dept. of Revenue for all the details), all other forms of gambling require a license and/or are restricted to specific locations/situations. In other words, coin pushers are not generally legal in Colorado unless a license is granted (which generally does not occur for most convenience stores). Note, the presence of a pusher in a store does not necessarily mean that they are legal.

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