3
$\begingroup$

How does copyright (and/or patents) work for puzzles? Can puzzle formats (like type of code/cipher, scheme, or method of posing a question) be copyrighted, or does only the specific puzzle get protected?

For instance, if I was the first person to ever create a crossword puzzle, do I have copyright protection of the crossword puzzle, or only the specific puzzle I made?

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Has a correct answer been given? If so, please don't forget to $\color{green}{\checkmark \small\text{Accept}}$ it. If not, some responses to the answerers to help steer them in the right direction would be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Mar 7, 2023 at 23:09

1 Answer 1

5
$\begingroup$

Copyright only protects specific expressions and not ideas, so it would only protects a specific instance of a puzzle and not the type. However, you can patent a puzzle type (according to this law.se answer), or trademark the name.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Note that unlike copyright, patents in the US last for a maximum of 20 years. So even if the crossword puzzle were patented, the idea is very much in the public domain by now. $\endgroup$
    – dan04
    Feb 24, 2023 at 16:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.