Why is it that companies cannot copyright game mechanics, but can patent them?


For example, the dialogue wheel from Bioware, or the Nemesis system by WB.

In: 71

Patents are used for inventions, (mechanics, equipment) while copyright is more to do with protecting someone’s literary and artistic skills (content, look and feel, the actual dialogue).

From: [https://legal-translations.com.au/difference-copyright-patent-trademark/](https://legal-translations.com.au/difference-copyright-patent-trademark/)

Game mechanics are considered functional elements of a game, not creative works. Copyright laws are designed to protect creative works, such as writing, music, and art. Because game mechanics are functional, they don’t fall under the same protection as creative works do. But, a patent can be granted for an invention which is new, useful, and non-obvious. Game mechanics can be seen as an invention and therefore can be patented.

A patent protects new inventions, processes, or scientific creations, a trademark protects brands, logos, and slogans, and a copyright protects original works of authorship.

Copyright doesn’t protect inventions, but it does protect the actual lines code (a work of authorship by the coder) but doesn’t stop someone writing new code to do the same task

patents are for innovative new things, and as the inventor, you’re supposed to have some time to profit from your invention

in order for something to qualify for copyright protection, that something must exist in a tangible form

Ideas, methods, and systems are not covered by copyright protection.

According to the US Copyright Office, Circular 2, this covers quite a few things including:

Making, or building things
Scientific or technical methods or discoveries;
Business operations or procedures
Mathematical principles
Formulas, algorithms
Any other concept, process, or **method of operation**

the last one included game mechanics

There is a copyright on the coca cola writing, colours, shape of their bottles all sorts I guess because that’s how you protest brands, slogans and the likes. You patent a particular way of doing something (maybe many patents) so if your making something and you can produce it in a novel way you can patent a single or multiple process of makeing it.

So Coca cola has a copyright on its logo, slogan, music, all sorts I assume so no one can copy their brand but they can make another cola as long as it hasn’t used the same patents as coke.

This is why there are drinks that taste a bit like it but look (external of the can) very different.