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intellectual protection by copyright


I have developed a puzzle and I want to understand if I can protect this puzzle by copyright.  

For the sake of discussion, we can compare this puzzle with the well known one, ‘Sudoku’.

1]The puzzle can be generated using a computer program.

2]There can be millions of generated representations of the puzzle.

3]The generation method can be circumvented. The puzzle can also be generated by other methods outside of my computer program, say manually.      

 

I believe, that I can copyright all of these

1] the computer program to generate the puzzle

2] the specific generated representation of the puzzle ("fixed on a medium")

3] The ‘rules of the game’

 

I cannot go ahead and copyright each of the generated representations of the puzzle. ( as it runs to few millions)

Are the puzzles that my computer program generates, is automatically copyrighted? (as it’s a creation is by my copyrighted computer program.)

Since copyright does not protect the “idea” or “the factual information” of the puzzle, the infringer can claim that (s)he has generated the puzzle outside of my copyrighted computer program.   Does that mean, I lost the intellectual protection by copyright?  

 

PS:  I also understand that this concept is patentable as its novel, non-obvious, and has an application;

but I want to see If this can be protected by means of copyright?  (considering, costs involved and duration of protection, copyright is preferable.)

 
Reply   
 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY

Dear Mr.Srinivas,

 

Tell me whether you have your work in print form or in the software form. Both you can get copyright registration.But you can not patent this.Because 'concept' patenting has not come to iIndia,though it is there in some other countries.

 
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Dear Balakrishnan,

I do have the work both in print form and as computer program ; So can it protect me from infingments ?

Srinivas

 
Reply   
 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY

Dear Mr.Srinivas,

 

Definitely you can protect in both forms. For Software,you will have to submit the source code.And for the print form you have to make it like a book and submit for copyright. But one thing, if the print form or software contains both charafcters and pictures or animations then the process is different. That is, you have to seperate them and file seperately. That is, you have to seperate the pictures,drawings etc seperately and character pages seperately.

 

I do not know where you are stationed. If you let me know I could tell you whether I could assist you for all this. My contact Number is 09363261488.


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Dear Balakrishnan,

My apologies for not making the questions clear.

I understand that, I can copyright both software for the generating puzzle and the print form of the generated puzzle. But my question is different.

Say I have a computer program to generate Sudoku puzzle and I have copyrighted it. [I’m taking Sudoku as an example, my idea is different] The issue is there are alternate ways to generate the puzzle. ( Say manually one can generate a Sudoku puzzle, or it can be generated with other non-copyrighted computer programs ). So protecting this program alone does not prevent others from generating Sudoku puzzles.

Secondly, I cannot copyright the generated Sudoku puzzle in printed form ( or for that matter any “fixed medium” say like CD/DVD  ) as there are millions and millions variants of Sudoku puzzle.

So any one generate a different Sudoku puzzle besides what I have generated.  Does that mean, I cannot protect the intellectual property by copyright?

PS: I approached with this question to few lawyers in my circle; but didn’t find a convincing answer. I’m posting this question on web, and expecting expert community to respond.

 
Reply   
 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY

Dear Mr.Srinivas,

 

Sorry for the delay in replying. 

 

I feel what you want to copyright is a 'concept' and if I am right then there is no way that you can get protection...I do not think that 'concept copyright' would protect the intellectual property you appear to have created.Concept can not be patented  either.As you yourself admit,the creation you did can be created by others using a different methods I do not think there is any viable protection available to you.


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IP Lawyer & Trademark Attorney

I agree with Mr. Balakrishnan.


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