Board Game Patents
Board games are one the activities that people of all ages can enjoy. Whether it’s Jenga or Monopoly, it’s always fun to play a quick round or two of board games. But have you every wondered what kind of intellectual property protection can cover these games? In this week’s blog post, we will be looking at the intellectual property protection, such as patent protection, that cover the board games we’ve come adore and love. But before we do, let’s look at how patent protection can apply to board games.
Contrary to some beliefs, patents can indeed cover board games. There are various types of patents, which include design patents or utility patents. Design patents protect the ornamental aspects of an invention while utility patents cover an invention with some sort of use or function. Possibly, board games may qualify for either if they meet the requirements for patentability.
Click here to read more about utility patents.
Click here to read more about design patents.
Now that we’ve discussed how board games can qualify for patents, lets look at some famous board games that were patented!
Monopoly is one of the most well-known games to date. Moreover, it’s been around for decades, with different versions of the game coming out each year. The patent covering Monopoly, which is Patent No. US 2,026,082, titled “board game apparatus,” goes all the way back to 1935. Although the game takes awhile to play, it can be extremely rewarding when you win.
Click here to read the entire Monopoly patent.
Jenga is a game that’s enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you’re at home with family or at an outing with friends, Jenga can always provide some fun. The game of Jenga involves a tower made of bricks (usually made of wood) and removing and placing the bricks on the brick tower. The patent covering Jenga is Patent No. 5,611,554 and titled “stacking brick tower game.”
Click here to read the entire Jenga patent.
Chess is another classic game that we all can enjoy. With all the strategies involved in chess, it’s hard to ever get bored of it. Chess has also grown throughout the decades, with international recognition and tournaments all over the world. Thus, the popularity of chess is undeniable. There is also a US patent covering the game of chess, which is Patent No. US 6,446,966 and titled “Chess Game and Method.”
Click here to read the entire Chess patent.
Who doesn’t like a good game of Scrabble? The Scrabble game has been around for awhile and various versions of the game has been produced over the years. Electronic versions of the game exists for the computer, phones, and possibly other electronic handheld devices. Scrabble is covered by Patent No. US 2,752,158 and titled “game apparatus.
Click here to see the entire Scrabble patent.
Who doesn’t like to build neat contraptions? Mouse Trap was a game that we’ve seen on TV during the 90s and possibly the early 2000s. With all the nifty parts you can put together, making and creating cool contraptions to trap your opponent’s mice can be extremely fun. The Mouse Trap Game is covered by Patent No. US 3,298,692.
Click here to read the entire Mouse Trap patent.
Sorry! That’s a phrase you may hear when playing the game of Sorry! Sorry! generally involves the use of pawns and movement of such pawns. However, from the older instructions, when a player has a Sorry Card, they can ” [t]ake any one pawn from Start and move it directly to a square occupied by any opponent’s pawn, sending that pawn back to its own Start. A Sorry! card cannot be used on an opponent’s pawn in a Safety Zone.” If there are no pawns on the player’s Start, or no opponent’s pawns on any space you can move to, the turn is forfeited. The Sorry! game is covered by Patent US 1,903,661.
Click here to read the entire Sorry! patent.
Spin the wheel and move forward! Who doesn’t enjoy a game of Life? Life or also known as The Game of Life, which is covered by Patent No. US 53,561. The Game of Life is an older game and the patent covering it was filed in some time during the mid 19th century. The game still exists today, with several variants and spin-off versions and even electronic versions. This demonstrates how popular games can endure the test of time.
Click here to read the entire Life Game patent.
What are your thoughts on these famous board games and their patents? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice and is meant to be for educational or entertainment purposes only. Please do not use the article or contents of the article without permission. For legal advice and questions, please contact registered Patent Attorney Vincent LoTempio.