Copyright policy on Google Play - Help!


a little while ago I posted an application, a game, on the Google Play market. The game’s idea originated from another app that I saw on the iOS (app store). Since then it has gotten a decent amount of downloads and I even made some profit with it. However, with the recent publicity it got, I became worried - Could I get in trouble for “copying” an idea?

The games are not the same, but they are somewhat similiar.
Every game asset, texture, graphic, sound, script… was made by myself.

I did though, use the same app name - should I change that?
So, again: Could I get in trouble for this?

Any response will be highly appreciated.

The app name - if it is not generic like “bubble game” or “house run” - might get you into trouble (especially when the developer will want to move his game to Android and notices that). Copying the idea shouldn’t though unless it is a very original one and you copied it exactly without any changes.

I am not a lawyer, however my understanding is similar. Do not take this as legal advice. You question is regarding two types of IP law: Trademark and Copyright. An apps name falls under trademark. As the previous poster stated, copying a non-generic name can get you in trouble. Having a similar game, even a rip-off, generally will not get you in trouble so long as none of the assets/code were taken from that game. Copyright and Trademark are applied automatically. A trademark can be officially registered, but trademark still applies without registration. A patent on the other hand, covers an idea and they are a lot of money/work to get and claim to be an innovation. They are not applied automatically so it is doubtful the game has one - though you could try to check on the USPTO website. Don’t copy anything covered by a patent.

As always with this type of question - seek a lawyer for legal advice specific to your situation.

Thanks for the quick replies.

I’m going to change the name, but I would not like to remove the app.
There is no patent that I can find related to the app.

What else should I do, just to make sure?

That is probably sufficient. A patent is quite unlikely. They take time, are expensive, and most games aren’t very innovative. There’s really no way to be absolutely sure that you won’t run into trouble anywhere with any app. Google can be fickle with their policies and lawsuits can happen even if you aren’t infringing. I’m more familiar with IP law than Google’s policies to be honest, but I do know that Google doesn’t like trademark infringement. The closest to being sure you can do is talk to an IP lawyer, but that would likely blow away all your profits. At the very least you can read up on IP law and see how it applies to your situation.