Dear Zelda,

What is the legal procedure for copywriting, trademarking and patenting a board or card game?

–Sean G. via Facebook

 

Dear Sean,

It would depend on what the game is. Since I don’t know what exactly you’re doing, I’ll lay out 3 types of protections and what they’re used for. Copyrighting is for works of art, music or literature, so you can copyright the rulebook and artwork. A Trademark is for a logo, a brand name, or the like, so you could trademark the name of the game, or the main logo for it. Patenting is for a machine, (like the Nintendo GameBoy) article of manufacture, or non-obvious process (such as the “Tapping” method used in Magic: The Gathering).

A copyright begins when a work is created. A trademark is claimable (but not a registered mark) when a logo/name is put into use. A patent MUST be applied for and approved.

Since I’m not a trademark or patent attorney, I will highly recommend that, if you are serious about pursuing the creation and sale of a board game or card game, you look into getting such an attorney.

In the meantime, here is a great forum thread with loads of useful information about this exact topic with regards to games: http://bit.ly/Rppe79.

Good Luck (and I call dibs on beta testing!),
Zelda

 

Dear Zelda,

My grown daughter is a total geek. Any suggestions for great geek gifts?

–Pearl C. via Facebook

 

Dear Pearl,

As always, the best way to find out what someone wants as a gift is to ask them! But, if your daughter is not particularly forthcoming, here are some suggestions. Since I don’t know what “flavor” of geek she is, I’ll give you a few options!
-For the Geek Mom-With-A-Minivan Type: Star Wars or Zombie Family Car Decals.
-For the FashionGeeksta: The Rutherford-Bohr Model Atom Necklace or the Ultra-Snazzy, 18-Pocketed Women’s Trench Coat from SeV.
-For the Kitchen-Geek: A set of 6 of the rarest salts in the world or mustache cookie cutters.

There are tons more types of geek (Trekkie, Whovian, Techie, etc.), so I’ll recommend two sources: Think Geek, wherein you can find a ton of geek items, for any type of geek, and this article 34 Geek Gifts, which has a multitude of geek gifts, in all price ranges, from nifty cursor-shaped computer mice to Tetris or Pac-Man couches!

Happy Hunting (Or shopping!),
Zelda

(Disclaimer: I’m not a Think Geek promoter in the paid sense, I just really like their stuff. Any recommendations for particular websites are just my personal preferences, and I am not receiving any compensation for recommending their website or products!)

 

Dear Zelda,

How do I find a girlfriend??

–Friday Night Nerds via Twitter (@FNN_Podcast)

 

Dear FNN,

Well, my first suggestion would be to look for one! If you constantly do the same thing, keep to yourself, work, game and sleep, you’ll never find love! However, if you’ve been looking, and you’re not having much luck in that area, try and determine the reason.

If girls don’t seem interested, take a look at yourself and see if there are any major turn-offs for women (such as body odor, dirty clothes/hair, etc.) that you can try to fix. If you don’t find any of those, take a look at the women you go after. Do you tend to be attracted to party girls, snobby girls, or “skanks”? The girls who generally aren’t looking for a relationship tend to be a bad choice! If that’s not it, are you a “nice guy?” The kind of guy that girls always love talking to but never want to date? If so, have hope! Most girls will realize, after enough  heartbreak, that the “bad boys” aren’t worth it, and they’ve had a great guy in front of them all along! You could also help things along by being assertive about your feelings, if you’d rather date or be done with them. Don’t be scared, the worst that can happen, with any girl, is that she says no! And if she says no, take it in stride, because she wasn’t right for you anyway!

If all else fails, go to college, major in robotics and engineering, and build yourself the best girlfriend ever! What could go wrong with that plan? 😉

Best Wishes (and here’s to Robo-GFs!),
Zelda

 

 

Dear Zelda,

Kirk, Picard, Sisko or Janeway?

–Mike S. via Twitter

 

Dear Mike,

Do you like Wil Wheaton? Picard! If you don’t like him, then it depends on what you studied in college! History? Kirk! Poli-Sci? Sisko! Women’s Lib? Janeway! (Blatantly stolen from the Netflix Sci-Fi Flow Chart!) If you’re asking my opinion, I’d have to say Picard, for his revival of the series, without whom we would not have Sisko or Janeway! I know, I know, I should’ve said Kirk, since he started the Captaining, however, he’s just a bit ridiculous, no? In all seriousness, each captain has their draw. Kirk is amazingly funny, Picard is the strong dad-type (with amazing acting chops! Love his monologues!) Sisko had the really moving story lines (I’d never thought I would cry during a Star Trek episode!). Janeway gave a new generation of girls the vision of being a strong, intelligent, independent woman-in-charge!

I notice you didn’t list Archer… But I’m not complaining. 😛

Live wrong and perspire,
Zelda

 

If you’ve got a question you want answered, you can email it (Mrs.ZeldaX@gmail.com), shoot it to me on Twitter (@ZeldaXAZ) or head over to my Facebook page and ask it there! (If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, just let me know!)

Question away, darlings!

Love,
Zelda!

 

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