Using patent illustrations as game art - copyright issues?
February 15, 2013 5:52 AM Subscribe
I'm considering making a game that uses USPTO patent illustrations (from Context-Free Patent Art
) as graphics. I've read the answers to Patents.Stackexchange: Are text and images in the patent copyrighted?
, which suggests that if a graphic is not explicitly copyrighted, it can be freely reproduced. However, I have some concerns:
posted by Zarkonnen to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What I'm looking for is a test I can apply to patent illustrations to see if they are reasonably safe for me to use in a game.
- When looking at the original patent, is the lack of a copyright notice in the patent sufficient to make sure the images in it are not copyrighted? This would seem to violate the Berne convention.
- The game would be accessible across the world, not just in the US. How does this complicate things? Is it possible/likely that a challenge could be brought against the game in a non-US court?
- I assume that I have to check that the images aren't trademarked.
The game design doesn't rely on any specific images being available, as long as some
are safe to use.
(I know YANML and your answers don't constitute legal advice. Bonus question: Is it possible to get legal advice on this question at a cost that's less than quadruple digits?)