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New Era of Intellectual Property

By: Terry Ahtziry Cardenas Banda, attorney and law professor.

In this era of technological innovation, the law has been innovated to protect the rights of inventors in the technological areas. Since the 1800s there has been protection of intellectual property through the Paris and Berne Conventions. Intellectual property are the creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, as well as symbols and images used in commerce. Intellectual property rights reward and protect creativity and human effort, which stimulates the progress of society. These rights include software, computer programs, databases and other compilations of data.

Today there is a increase in the video games industry and these inventions are also subject to the protection of the law. Video games are complex works of authorship, which contain multiple forms of art, such as music, scripts, diagrams, videos, paintings and characters, which involve human interaction while running the game with a computer program. Therefore, video games are not created as simple and simple works, but constitute an amalgam of individual elements that each can have copyright, achieving a certain level of originality and creativity.

Video games are protected under the legal regime of copyright, under the figure of computer programs, within copyright include protection of the artist, the idea and the computer program, however, it also protects the patrimonial rights that arise from the creation of the videogame. Likewise, the related rights must be protected, which are all those involved in the creation of video games such as voice, dubbing, music, musician and narrator, and who are entitled to royalties for their participation. Finally, video games can also be protected under the right of industrial property by means of integrated circuit layout, patents and trademarks. There may also be parts of video games that are not made public and these may be protected as a trade secret.

In Mexico, the laws that protect the aforementioned rights are the Constitution, the Copyright Law and the Industrial Property Law. The registration of these creations is carried out in two institutions: the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the National Institute of Copyright (INDAUTOR). Thanks to the international treaties to which Mexico is part, these creations are also protected at international level, the treaties protecting these legal figures are the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention and the Treaty for Intellectual Property, with regard to integrated circuits, among others.

In the United States, the laws protecting the rights of video games are the United States Constitution, the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C., the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C., the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C., and the United States Uniform Trade Secrets Act. In the United States, the registration of video game rights is done by the United States Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In both Mexican and American laws, there is no clear classification of video games and their protection will vary according to each particular game and the elements that form part of it, however, the above figures are those that regularly apply to the protection of video games.

The United States of America has the largest video games industry in the world. For its part, in Mexico the video games industry has grown more in recent years. Mexico has positioned itself as the second place in the development of video games in Latin America. Thanks to joint collaborations by government and private associations, Mexico has managed to grow in the video games industry.

The growth that has been seen in the industry is due in part to Gamacon, which is a civil association that was created to boost the industry of the development of video games, animations and creative media in Mexico, through this initiative and its work several companies have been interested in investing in the video games industry in Mexico. Parallel to this arises Avenue, sister initiative to boost the industry of the development of videogames, animations and creative means in the United States. Gamacon has convened the video games industry in several events that have been held in the cities of Mexicali and Tijuana, the next Gamacon event is in Mexicali from November 3 to 5, 2017. For its part, Avenue was convened in June 2017 managing to convene in one place the three largest industries of video games: Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.

Within the states of Mexico with greater growth in the industry is Baja California, it is necessary to emphasize that being a border state offers a range of opportunities to the Mexican inventors, specially because is a neighbor state of the State with the biggest industry in video games. Mexico has been working for the growth of the video games industry not only because it will provide an economic increase in Mexico but also to recognize and reward Mexican creations. We must applaud and recognize the work that is being done, join it and visualize Baja California as the gateway for this industry to progress, since there is a huge potential ready to be exploited.

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