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Can I make my own rummy royal mat to add to a kit I will be selling if I create it in paint works myself?

Plainfield, IL |

I am working on a product that I will be selling and I would like to include a mat to play rummy royal..also known as triopoly and Michigan rummy. I created my own drawing of the game chart (mat) using a paint program on my computer and would like to get it printed on plastic but I dont know if this is copyright infringement. Whitman sold the boxed game back in the 40's or 50's or so.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Do not use the formerly registered (canceled for failure to file a 6th year Decl of Use under Sect. 8), TRIOPOLY and you should be okay if your design is original. An IP or copyright attorney can check to see if there are registered copyrights on such mats. There might be a copyright existing but not registered that might cause problems, but if you keep this pretty generic or different and original you should be fine. Put your own brand name on it and register that brand name. Also, if you have original elements in your mat, you should apply for registration of a copyright on the original artwork for your mat.

See an Illinois IP lawyer for help on that, as there are additional protections under IL state law that may be appropriate for you.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Posted

Most copyrights from that era are now 'public domain,' but it is hard to tell without an investigation. Do any search engines turn up such game mats? If not most likely you will be ok, especially if you carefully document all your efforts to find any possible current copyright claims on the web and at copyright.gov.

Licensed in Maryland with offices in Maryland and Oregon. Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

The old games are being sold on ebay and in stores how ever these are the complete game which include a mat with the chart used to place you chips on the spots, the cards, and the rules. The mat is needed to play this card game as are the score cards for Yatzee for example. These mats are not sold single unless they are old used ones.

Asker

Posted

I don't know if the copyright is on the complete game package (mat, chips, cards, and game instructions) or if it applies to the mat alone also.

Philip Leon Marcus

Philip Leon Marcus

Posted

I was asking about offerings of new product, and the copyright if so would apply to each part. Offerings of the old product do not create new copyrights. I still think so long as you make and keep documents you are in the clear.