The fact of having “painted” a deck of cards may involve different types of protection according to how the situation is interpreted. If the decoration is made on cards already existent, the decorative work realized is artistic and it can be protected by the law on copyright especially if the manual skill prevails on the technical one. If on the other hand, a new kind of cards which generated a new type of game is invented, the situation is different and more complex. Even if games are not patentable, the instruments serving to their functioning are normally patented, sometimes as inventions, others as model of utility, or even as model or designs. The first thing to do is evaluatingof what the “paintings” consist. Only in the case of a brand new card which uses signs, printed or in relief, never used before that should to be interpreted in a certain way it is possible to resort to the patent. On the contrary, if there are not such characteristics, it is necessary to file all the painted cards as unpublished works to the SIAE. This procedure has a very moderate price and it is suggested to do it in addition to the application for registration of the patent when there could be cases of doubt. After this passage, it is possible to contact publishing houses telling them of the filing of the cards to the SIAEand also sending them pictures of the cards.
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