As a games developer, you operate on the leading edge of technology that often forms the blueprint for more mainstream applications. Writing the future of technology and pushing the boundaries of creativity, however, leaves you vulnerable to litigation and accusations of Software Copyright and Intellectual Property infringement. Game development insurance can help protect you from those exposures as well as other risks that all businesses face.
Litigation Faced by Game Development Companies
If you visit Game World Observer’s ‘Notable Lawsuits’ page, you’ll find lawsuits against game developers including this one:
“Back in 2014 Capcom, the Japanese publisher and game developer, accused its competitor Koei Tecmo of infringing two of Capcom’s patents, one of which had to do with controller vibration in proximity of an adversary, and the other – with different modes of video game content import. It was alleged that Koei Tecmo unlawfully employed the technologies in 49 video games, making about 93,000,000 U.S. dollars.
The district court of Osaka ruled in 2017 that Koei Tecmo infringed only the first patent, once, and awarded 50,000 U.S. dollars to Capcom. The publisher appealed.
In September 2019 Intellectual Property High Court in Tokyo agreed that Koei Tecmo used both patented technologies as part of its games, and increased the award to 1,500,000 U.S. Dollars.”
You’ll also find lawsuits against video game developers for the following:
- Copyright infringement for music, software, characters, scripts, tattoo art, dance moves and graphic interface
- Trademarked name violations
- Data and information leaks
- Gambling violations for loot boxes
- Blocking user accounts
- The infamous case brought by a Montreal law firm against Epic Games because of Fortnite’s ‘addictiveness’
Think it’s unlikely to happen in the games industry in Canada? The gambling violations levelled against EA, Blizzard and Valve took place in Belgium and serves as a reminder that potential liability crosses borders and oceans as your games do.
Game Development Company Insurance Coverages
Commercial General Liability Insurance protects your video game development company from legal claims of personal injury, property damage, false advertising, libel/slander and more. For example, Commercial General Liability insurance can cover lawyer’s fees, defence costs, out-of-court settlements and awards for damages if a client is injured while on your property or if you injure them on their property. Commercial General Liability insurance can also include Copyright Insurance For Intellectual Property to defend you against IP claims and to enforce your rights against infringers.
Liability Insurance policies are also available for technology specific businesses like game development companies. Made for businesses that provides services and products that are in the form of software, computer hardware, consulting and other data related services to businesses and/or individuals in mind. Consider purchasing Liability Insurance tailor-made to your unique business needs.
Errors & Omissions (E&O) / Professional Liability Insurance – This type of insurance covers you for lawsuits alleging that your clients suffered losses due to your errors, negligence or associated with services and development work you are doing for others.
Cyber Liability & Privacy Insurance can cover the costs of a breach including losses sustained by third parties affected by a breach, costs to repair systems and data and notification costs.
Property Insurance protects your building and contents such as computers, consoles, mobile devices, office equipment and other assets owned by your video game development company in case of fire, flooding, burglary and other perils. Your business may also need:
- Business Interruption insurance coverage to replace lost income after an insured peril; and
- Extra Expense insurance coverage to cover the costs of setting up a temporary location for your game developer business.
Get ALIGNED With the Right Game Development Company Insurance
With ALIGNED you get an advocate working with Canada’s top insurance companies to find you comprehensive game developers insurance policy that covers your liability risks at affordable rates – saving you time, money and the hassle of shopping for the right coverage. Contact an ALIGNED advocate to get a free quote on game development company insurance in minutes or get started right away by using our free online tool.
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