Do you want me to show you a market without patent law?
4 versions of the same mechanics game from four different manufacturers.
We have a market here without patents . You can look at it and understand what will happen if all patents are canceled right tomorrow.
The fact is that domestic patent law does not protect the mechanics of board games, and we have a lot of similar pieces. Someone competes, some diverges in segments, some beat each other at prices or simply squeeze out analogues. And nothing, everyone is alive. The market is developing and growing. No patents.
Why no protection
The legal situation is this: according to standard laws, rules, graphic components and so on are protected. This means that if you take a Western game, re-draw all the pictures and to some extent (say, 10-20%) change the rules, this will be enough to pass an expert analysis and, therefore, publish the game in Russia in full accordance with by law.
What does it look like? How is the difference between Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake and Half-Life. These are 4 identical mechanics in different settings, different graphics and with a different plot. Now the idea of patenting a 3D shooter genre or a real-time strategy is unlikely to come to someone’s mind - although, I remember, the creators of Warcraft once had a big argument with Warhammer’s copyright holders.
So, let's see what happens in such a “wild” market without patents on specific examples.
Activiti and Elias
Two games to explain words. In Activity, you need to draw, speak in words and show gestures, in Elias - only explain in words. They live in different price niches (Elias is cheaper), so Activity is the best party game in Moscow, and Elias is in regions where price requirements are more critical. All major manufacturers make games in the same niche. Hasbro has a game of “Taboo” - this is also an explanation of words, but with its own twist. By the way, in Russia we also have an analogue, played since the days of the USSR - Crocodile. And there is the domestic "Boom" (popularly - "Papers" or "Hat"). This is an example of more or less parallel development. Games help each other occupy a niche and together expand it.
Jenga and Variations
Jenga is a very old game about pulling bars out of a wooden tower. She is very exciting, cool and generally stably keeps in hits. The only problem is that many people release similar games. These are also towers with a different form of bar, other materials and so on - they are legal in Europe. We also make direct clones, which also comply with the law, and it turns out much cheaper.
Classic version: competitors copied the box for a long time in style, and they just recently changed it dramatically to bright-explosive
Here we come to the most important answer to the question of piracy: does downloading “left” films and software help the publisher? Yes. The fact is that Jenga is distinguished by quality, and the only thing that keeps buyers from buying the original is the price. Last year, the manufacturer removed from the sale a version of the game up to 1000 rubles, only the expensive one remained, for about 1300. And this is a milestone for many buyers. You yourself know what the salary is in the regions.
During this time, all-all-all who sawed the bars were activated, and as a result, the tower appeared almost everywhere in the country, even in small shops, wherever the publisher could reach out in life. And then the company returned to the market the goods - all the same good old cool Djenga, but at the price at which it is realistic to buy. And she made the premium version more expensive. Of course, when a lot more people know about the game, it is sold at times steeper. Beautiful, is not it?
The manufacturer has now expanded the line: for example, the other day a rare “Jenga Tetris” arrived - no one can copy it for a long time.
Very precise casting (we don’t do it yet) and “bent” parts.
Monopoly - Millionaire and Variations
Monopoly clones abroad are regularly caught and closed, so not one has time to gain popularity. In our grocery, one could meet individual representatives of this group of games. I must say separately that there is a more or less normal game "Manager" since the Soviet era - it is still adequate, but only as nostalgia. Monopoly is a clear gift, therefore, almost always, even if there are similar games nearby, they choose a high-quality original edition.
Scrub and Scrabble
Scrub and Scrabble are two almost identical games that differ in edition. Foreign Scrub is expensive, high-quality and very cool, and our Scrabble is small and ground for the road, plus for the price - exactly for the regions. At the same time, scrabble went to the ceiling for the price and occupied the premium segment, and Scrabble still steers where the budget for the purchase is limited. There are clones - Igraslov, Slovodel and so on.
More legal details
10.4.3.2. Административного регламента по изобретениям — «Предложения, которые не являются изобретениями согласно пункту 5 статьи 1350 Кодекса: правила и методы игр, интеллектуальной или хозяйственной деятельности;»
9.4.1. Административного регламента по полезным моделям — в качестве полезных моделей в соответствии с пунктом 1 статьи 1351 Кодекса и с учетом пунктов 1 и 5 статьи 1350 Кодекса техническим решением, охраняемым в качестве полезной модели, не являются предложения, характеризующие: правила и методы игр, интеллектуальной или хозяйственной деятельности;
The mechanics of the game in Russia are not protected by a patent. In this case, you can file an application indicating the presence of a certain field, cards for it, chips, dice and other attributes, games that are different from the known ones, then you can get a patent for an invention or utility model. Examples: RU2265471C2, RU2204430C2, RU80349U1 and so on.
In this case, the mechanics of the game are protected by copyright. Protection is carried out only from a simple copy of this game, that is, a clone with other rules and plot has the right to life. In theory, it is possible to go to court, but very strong evidence is needed.
Our lawyer gave an example:
Если я придумаю фильм типа «Властелина колец» на основе его сценария, но сюжет будет разворачиваться в космосе, вместо кольца будет амулет и так далее, передвигаться будут все на космических кораблях, битвы будут при станциях или на планетах, то обладателям прав на «Властелин колец» будет очень сложно доказать копирование.
If you protect it as an invention or utility model, then previously unknown fields and attributes (specially designed) should be used in the game, so it will be possible to clone the game, but it will not be possible to sell fields and attributes. Example - you can protect the gurgling spiral timer in “Answer in 5 seconds” - and then the new game will have to use, for example, another timer.
Here on the side you can see the timer where the balls descend in a spiral. During the coup, he gurgles funny. A timer can be protected as a model or invention, but this is only a piece of the game.
The most interesting games are those that use similar mechanics, but at the same time develop it. For example, if we talk about computer strategies, DUNE II did not use a "rubber" frame to highlight the squad, but it already appeared in Warcraft. The next step is a one-click command (not two: what to do and where to do it) and so on. Thus, development branches and interesting new products within the framework of one mechanics gradually appear. Again, I have not heard about patenting the "rubber frame" for the RTS, but there are analogies in patent law.
Have you long wanted to know what will happen if patents are canceled?
So, we do not have them on the market, and everyone can do the same thing. See how it works: someone confidently shares a niche (Uno-Svintus), someone fights for the audience and forces others to lower the price (the price of “Jungle Speed” has fallen by half since the appearance of the “Bear”), someone does not survive (the Solo game was still in the Uno-Svintus chain - it left the market), someone uses technological developments to create wonderful new pieces.
And another point: the price of the game is determined by the cost of production, and with a large series it is much lower, so those who are already on the market have one more protection - large circulations and federal advertising. This means that entering with a copy means risking big losses by playing the first time in the red.
Is this good or bad?
In general, as it turned out, rather, it’s good - it moves forward, gives a gain to those who have better implementation, and not to those who managed before. But the former still skim the cream, and if they are ready to play in the real market (as in the case of Jengi), they get maximum profits.
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How do you like our market without patents?
- 10.4% Patents must be done, you have some kind of savagery in the market 294
- 89.6% Normal market, everything is as it should 2531