Legit question about copyright stuff

Alright, i better start by saying im not bashing the game, i love it, and the pet battle system. I was also a Pokemon fan back when i was a kid. Now that that's over, here's my question.

Im no lawyer, but ive seen some games get sued for less for using another games ideas(Oblivion creator sued some game over using a style of pillar that looked like something out of oblivion) I could be off on that story abit, but that was the jist of it.

When i first tried out the pet battles, i said to myself "holy crap, this looks just like Pokemon", only difference is instead of tossing a poke ball, its a wooden cage type thing. (and they aren't actual Pokemon obviously)

So how did Blizzard get away with this without any issues? Don't get me wrong, im glad they did, i love the battle system so far, but im honestly wondering.
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90 Human Paladin
2455
Good question. It is dangerously close to IP infringement. They've unabashedly copied virtually every game design aspect from Pokemon. I wouldn't be surprised a bit if they do get sued-- though whether it is successful is another matter.

I guess they figure if Zynga can get away with it most of the time, why not?
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90 Night Elf Druid
8955
I am not a lawyer, but...

Fundamentally, unless they copy the art, text or music, they're safe. game mechanics have been repeatedly found not to be a protectable form of IP. Even instances of patents on game mechanics are really only protected by the amount of money that might be brought to bear were a case to be fought: and there are precious few game companies that could afford to risk the money against blizzard.
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85 Draenei Priest
3590
But the edges are round!
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90 Goblin Shaman
0
Just pointing out that Pokémon and WoW Pet Battles are not the only games out there that battle captured monsters. It is a genre, not something that can be copyrighted. Kind of like how one First-Person Shooter cannot sue another or how WoW cannot sue other Fantasy MMOs for being Fantasy MMOs.
Edited by Obliquatur on 9/28/2012 1:01 AM PDT
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90 Pandaren Mage
9385
Good question. It is dangerously close to IP infringement. They've unabashedly copied virtually every game design aspect from Pokemon. I wouldn't be surprised a bit if they do get sued-- though whether it is successful is another matter.

No. Completely wrong. It's not even close to IP infringement. Not even one iota close. You cannot copyright a game idea. The reason lawsuits are being made regarding "copied" game has more to do with the games being dangerously similar both functionally and artistically that there is question whether or not certain aspects of data were just verbatim copied (for example, tracing new art graphics from other graphics could constitute copyright infringement, or even be a trademark violation, even if your art is technically different from the other)

If this were possible, then Zynga would not be in business today. Their entire business model is undeniably to take games other people have made and clone it on Facebook. It's not even hypothetical; they basically publicly state this is their business model, and sadly it works very well for them.

TL;DR: Blizzard has absolutely nothing to worry about. Anyone could clone the concept for Pokemon and sell it with no worries about lawsuits coming from Nintendo.
Edited by Flimflam on 9/28/2012 6:19 AM PDT
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100 Tauren Druid
9195
They'll get sued over Warhammer before Pokemon.
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100 Night Elf Rogue
8675
I am sure if something like that would be of risk...Blizz's legal team would have known about it.
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100 Blood Elf Hunter
16355
One word "Digimon."
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46 Pandaren Hunter
0
Pokémon essentially created a genre. That does not mean Nintendo could sue any future endeavor that imitates that genre. And, really, Nintendo does not have a history of suing over genre infringement. If they did, they would have tried to sue every platformer game for infringing on Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. (And I am sure there are plenty of other examples, Nintendo, whether you like them *today* or not, is a major innovator). So is Blizzard, really. How many MMO's over the past few years have tried to "borrow" things from WoW.

Edit P.S. And, yes, I am aware that WoW, in turn, has borrowed from other MMO's, but it was WoW's mainstream success that inspired a large number of imitators.
Edited by Rhaki on 9/28/2012 8:12 AM PDT
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39 Undead Warlock
6440
This notion sort of sounds like that lawsuit where some guy claimed to have invented the idea of logging into a virtual world and being represented by a pixel avatar.

Did Magic the Gathering sue all those other CCG makers? How'd that go?
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Pet Battles are a way to collect, capture and battle pets. There is no mention of Nintendo, nor have they copied any UI or anything other than the same rough idea, much like Digimon, Monster Hunter, Dinosaur King (yes, that's actually a think. Thanks 4Kids!) Yugioh Capsule Monsters (Man, 4Kids really must have been devistated after losing the Pokemon rights. Wonder if that's all related) and so on.
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100 Night Elf Warrior
7460
you can't copyright gameplay.
that's why there are so many clones of games.

You can copyright characters, audio, unique names, etc... used in games.
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