Video game development and licensing

Ontario Trademark Lawyers and its lawyer professionals assist artists and entertainers with video game development business representation. We provide answers to questions that most commonly occupy the minds of video games developers. We can assist you to protect your video game and also avoid unnecessary future problems. We assist you with the drafting of agreements for developing mainstream video games on mobile and tablet apps, and video games for social websites such as Face book, or any other up and coming social media platform.

As a video game developer, you want to be assured that your work is safe and your rights are protected. Without the right legal agreements, it may be difficult for you to track who is responsible if your video game is infringed or stolen in the future.

Not only are you going to want to protect your creative works as a video game developer and/ or licensor with copyrights and trademarks, you should also protect your work as trade secrets. You have trade secrets in your video game design, your marketing and business plan for the video game, the source code and pricing. However, to be protected, your trade secrets, as the name implies, have to remain a secret to the public and cannot be of general public general knowledge.

In other words, you have to take necessary steps to ensure that your trade secrets remain perpetually a secret. This involves using firewalls, entering into non-disclosure agreements with your employees and independent contractors so that they will keep their mouth shut both when they are working for you and after they have left your business. It also means taking every other foreseeable means to keep your video game trade secrets from becoming known to other members of the public. Remember that your trade secrets should be hidden from your investors and sponsors as well. Of course, they can share in the pie, but not in the process.

It is very crucial that at your video game development stage, if you approach a party who is not willing or ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement, you should simply walk and look for someone else. Refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement is already a red flag that the person possibly has some hidden negative intentions. A well-crafted non-disclosure agreement should have the following basic features: name of the parties, brief summary of the confidential information without revealing its particulars, exceptions that may apply, description of what is protected, the duration of the agreement, obligations of the party signing the agreement, consequences for breach, the jurisdiction that governs the law, among others.

It is recommended that you copyright every possible element of your video game that can be protected, from your design, to your animation, and advertising materials, the dialogue or story used in the video game, and anything else related to your video game that constitutes a copyrightable work. Without copyright registrations, you won’t be able to seek damages in a court of law, which means others using your trademark prior to your trademark registration can obtain common law rights by virtue of their prior usage.

Should the copyright or trademark in your video game be infringed, that is, used by others without your permission or consent, we will send a demand notice to the infringers requiring them to cease and desist from such infringement. If they fail to comply, we will commence litigation against those infringing your video game copyright and trademark.

We will prepare work-for-hire or independent contractor agreements and copyright assignment agreements for you. This will help you to retain full ownership of every right in your video games. With a properly crafted copyright assignment agreement, the frequent issues that arise in work-for-hire or independent contractor agreements can be overcome. This will save you from a lot of tax problems from Canada Revenue Agency.

At Ontario Trademark Lawyers, we strive to develop innovative solutions to our client’s entertainment and media disputes. We utilize our relationships and experience to help our clients resolve issues in a way that avoids or minimizes the breakdown of working relationships and protects our client’s future professional opportunities.

When a developer signs a game publishing contract, he would have the opportunity of completing new and existing game projects. It is necessary to sign contracts with a good game publisher since the publisher has established networks and relationships that can assist in the marketing of the games. Basic features of a standard game publishing contract include: obligations of both the developer and publisher, term of the agreement, warranties of both parties, indemnification in case a party turns out not to have the rights represented, net revenue which is arrived at after overall expenses, royalties and payment remittance methods, accounting, confidentiality, what constitutes a material breach, and method of resolving disputes.

At Ontario Trademark Lawyers, we ensure that your interests are fully covered in all the above features of a game publishing contract. In addition, Ontario Trademark Lawyers assists clients with the following: contracts for e-commerce business, internet marketing, misappropriation of trade secrets, intentional and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, interference with economic rights and contractual relations, privacy rights, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, intellectual property infringement, false advertising, loss of business reputation, online defamation, defamations, and slander. We represent individuals, family held businesses, start up corporations, as well as medium and multi-dollar corporations.

To set up an appointment and to find out more about our Video Game Development and Licensing services, you can call us on 416-840-5572, or Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266.

Business hours
9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, 1pm – 5pm.
We work Monday to Friday, Saturdays and on holidays by appointment.

Contact Us:
Ontario Trademark Lawyers
WaterPark Place
20 Bay St, Suite 1105
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2N8, Canada
Phone: 416-783-8378
Fax: 416-782-2286
Toll Free: 1-888-672-7266