At the start of May a federal court in Texas, USA ruled that the structure and game play of a card game is not protected by copyright law. You will find the judge decision over here. This was as a result of the copyright case between DaVinci Editrice S.r.l (DV Giochi) vs. Ziko Games LLC. DaVinci had sued Ziko Games alleging copyright infringement.
The assertion was that the Ziko Games title Legend of the Three Kingdoms copied protected features of Davinci’s Bang! USA copyright law protects original expression, but not ideas, procedures, processes, systems or methods of operation.
The court ruled that Ziko’s game did not infringe on any of the copyright protected elements of Bang! The game play and character interactions in Bang! were not detailed or developed enough to be considered protectable content.
Here’s the Publisher blurb (Ziko Games English Edition) about the game:
Throughout the rich history of ancient China, the Three Kingdoms has always been a chaotic and awe-inspiring time period. Larger than life characters such as the fierce SHU general ZHANG Fei, the cunning WEI warlord CAO Cao, and the legendary SHU strategist ZHUGE Liang have inspired generations of people with their stories of valor, deceit, and strategy.
Legends of the Three Kingdoms replicate this historic age and allows players to assume the identities of these fabled heroes. Combining these heroes with role play, battle, deception, and other elements, we created a fun and exciting game that can be shared with many. We hope you will have as much fun playing as we had bringing this game to you.