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May 26, 2022
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Stephen McArthur's Blog   Expert Blogs

Stephen McArthur received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 2007 where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Social Problems.

Stephen is an intellectual property attorney at The McArthur Law Practice and was formerly an associate of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City and Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles. Stephen’s practice focuses on trademark prosecution and litigation, copyright litigation, patent litigation, general contractual commercial litigation, privacy, right of publicity, and licensing. He has represented clients across the technology spectrum, especially those associated with the video game industry.

Other Gamasutra Articles:
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He can be reached by email at [email protected]

McArthur Law Practice website:



Expert Blogs

Posted by Stephen McArthur on Wed, 04 May 2016 01:40:00 EDT
Due to a quirk in trademark law, a successful Kickstarter campaign provides you zero protection over the title of your game. There is only one way to protect a game title while crowdfunding during development.

Posted by Stephen McArthur on Tue, 12 Jan 2016 01:25:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Indie
Despite the attractiveness and convenience of tapping the Creative Commons for free game assets, they can create serious legal consequences for your game and it is a mistake to use them.

Posted by Stephen McArthur on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:04:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
As a video game lawyer, one of the biggest mistakes I commonly see game developers make is waiting too long to trademark their game name or even not trademarking it at all. Here, I briefly explain in layman's terms the best reasons to do so.

As a lawyer in the video game industry, I explain here the numerous high-profile Right of Publicity lawsuits filed recently and the most common pitfalls that arise when a game developer wants to use a real person's likeness in their game.

Posted by Stephen McArthur on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 04:41:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie
This article explains why your videos get flagged by Youtubes copyright system, what you can do if your video is flagged, and how you can fight back against a Content Manager and use the existing copyright regime to your own advantage.

Posted by Stephen McArthur on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 09:00:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Serious
I explain each of the options a game developer should consider to protect its intellectual property, and I give real-world examples of video game companies doing each and their outcomes.

Stephen McArthur's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 05/03/2016 - 02:06]

And Apple should not be ...

And Apple should not be able to stop people from selling computers or phones under the Apple brand And Nike just the word for the goddess of victory should not be able to stop people from selling athletic apparel or shoes under the Nike brand r n r nTrademarks exist ...

Comment In: [News - 01/11/2016 - 03:50]

Someone at the company should ...

Someone at the company should have caught this mistake far before it existed. r n r nMr. Khan, do not sign up to beta test a product if you 're not prepared to deal with sloppy mistakes.

Comment In: [Blog - 09/17/2015 - 02:04]

Wes is correct. Most indies ...

Wes is correct. Most indies cannot afford to litigate it. But it 's not expensive to have an attorney file a takedown notice with Google Play or Apple 's iOS Store and it 's free if you do it yourself . Those takedown requests are usually only effective if you ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/12/2015 - 01:45]

But if you 're developing ...

But if you 're developing a 3D software for your government 's city planning institution and you can develop a city building game afterwards with the same assets, it means you are sitting on a goldmine. r n r nThis is an intellectual property landmine. I 've dealt with multiple ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/17/2014 - 06:26]

Generally, fictional characters do not ...

Generally, fictional characters do not have a right of publicity. But you can still get in trouble for using them because they are protected by other forms of IP such as trademark law.

Comment In: [Blog - 10/28/2014 - 02:14]

Solforge is a f2p card ...

Solforge is a f2p card game and got 429,000 on Kickstarter. Hex also describes itself as a f2p card game and received over 2 million on kickstarter.