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For video game developers, publishers and investors, the most important asset is the intellectual property rights they own or control in the game. All of the elements of a video game — the story, audiovisual elements, underlying computer code and even “gameplay” elements (that specify the way the user interacts with and experiences a game) — are subject to one or more forms of intellectual property protection. Traditionally, intellectual property protection for video games has been based upon either trade secret, copyright or trademark. Patents, however, are quickly becoming an important part of the video game industry.

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