How to Receive a Patent on a Board Game

By Steve Aycock

A board game can be patented if it meets three basic criteria for a patentable invention. The game must be new, useful and nonobvious. To be considered new, a game cannot have been invented before and cannot have been on sale or otherwise made public for more than a year. To be useful, a board game must have some entertainment, educational or other purpose, which is an easy requirement for a game to meet. Nonobvious simply means that the game is not an obvious variation or extension of an existing game or combination of games. To receive a patent on your board game invention, you’ll need to file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

A board game can be patented if it meets three basic criteria for a patentable invention. The game must be new, useful and nonobvious. To be considered new, a game cannot have been invented before and cannot have been on sale or otherwise made public for more than a year. To be useful, a board game must have some entertainment, educational or other purpose, which is an easy requirement for a game to meet. Nonobvious simply means that the game is not an obvious variation or extension of an existing game or combination of games. To receive a patent on your board game invention, you’ll need to file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Step 1

Prepare drawings of your board game. Show game features in enough detail so that an examiner at the patent office can easily see and understand your game. Place key features of your game in an enlarged figure to show more detail. Number each figure and add a reference number for each element of the drawing. Connect the reference number to the drawing element with a lead line.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now

Step 2

Develop one or more claims for your board game invention. Think about what sets your game apart from other board games and focus your claims on these features.

Step 3

Provide a written description of your board game. Describe each figure and each numbered element within each figure. There are a few required sections of a written description you’ll want to be sure to include. These are a Brief Description of the Drawings, Detailed Description, Claims and Abstract. The claims and abstract sections must start on a separate page.

Step 4

File your written description and drawings with the Patent Office. You can file a patent application online using forms provided by the Patent Office website. Be sure to pay the appropriate fees during the online application process. Without the fees, the Patent Office will not examine your application.

Step 5

Promptly answer any correspondence from the Patent Office. Once the Patent Office reviews your application and issues a communication, you will typically have a short time frame in which to respond, ranging from one month to six months.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
How to Get a Patent on a Website Idea

References

Resources

Related articles

How Do I Patent My Idea?

A patent protects an inventor's right to produce the product he invented, preventing others from selling or using the product. Federal law provides patents as a way to encourage innovation by giving inventors ownership over their own ideas. Since patents can only be granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you must apply through that office before you can receive your patent.

How to Get a Patent on an Idea for Clothing Accessories

If after you come up with a great idea for a new clothing accessory and want to begin capitalizing on it, you might consider getting a patent. If the United States Patent and Trademark Office approves your patent application, it means that no one but you has the right to manufacture and sell the clothing accessory. However, the patent application can be complicated, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the requirements at the outset.

DIY: How to File for a Non-Provisional Patent

A patent protects your right to use and profit from an invention. Many individuals and businesses retain patent attorneys or patent agents to represent them in the application process, especially if the technology is complex or litigation is likely. Absent these complicating factors, it is possible to file a patent application on your own. In the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) administers the examination and approval of patent applications. A non-provisional patent is valid for the full patent term – in most cases 20 years.

Start here. LegalZoom. Legal help is here. LLCs. Corporations. Patents. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Patent a Toy Idea

It is impossible to patent a mere idea -- you must first reduce it to tangible form. To be eligible for a patent, your ...

How to Acquire a Patent

A patent is a legalized monopoly in favor of the patent holder. The patent holder owns the exclusive right to use, ...

What Needs a Patent: An Idea or An Invention?

When you have a great idea, you'll be tempted to patent the idea as soon as possible. However, simply having a great ...

Can You Get a Patent for an Idea?

You cannot patent an idea alone. If you develop the specifics of your idea, however, you might be able to patent it. A ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED