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Esports and Electronic Gaming


Overview

Video and interactive gaming has rapidly transformed from a niche hobby to a multibillion-dollar international industry.  Particularly with the meteoric rise of esports and celebrity-like streaming personalities, people, businesses, and online communities are lining up to get involved, and the whole world is watching — nearly 400 million worldwide, and counting. As the industry continues to grow, the Carlton Fields Esports and Electronic Gaming team can help you navigate the new challenges and opportunities in the open world of esports and electronic gaming.

Our team of lawyers stretches across practices and disciplines to provide innovative and tailored solutions to help our clients reach their legal and business goals. We combine our passion for technology and video games with our collective experience in key industries to deliver comprehensive legal services — both traditional and emerging. Carlton Fields’ attorneys are committed to personal client service and depth of expertise in our core practice areas in this cutting-edge legal industry. 

Some of our lawyers are even content creators themselves, producing a podcast where they explore the unique legal issues at the intersection of video games, law, and business: LAN Party Lawyers.
 
Our clients include:

  • Esports teams and organizations
  • Colleges and universities with existing or developing esports programs and clubs
  • Game companies
  • Content creators and online influencers 
  • Streamers and professional gamers
  • Tournament and charitable event organizers
  • Investors/startups and corporations making investments into esports and video game development
  • Media and advertising companies

 
Our services include:

  • Full-service esports team representation
  • Development and maintenance of collegiate esports programs, including compliance with national associations and Title IX
  • Intellectual property protection and compliance, including licensing, copyrights, trademarks, patents, fair use analysis, and music and product clearances
  • Compliance with FTC guidelines and other regulatory and compliance matters
  • International privacy program implementation and guidance concerning data security regulations and data protection
  • 5G and mobile gaming
  • Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency
  • Online streaming rights
  • Development and financing of stadiums, arenas, and esports facilities
  • Commercial joint ventures, real estate acquisitions, and leasehold arrangements
  • Sponsorships and endorsements
  • Employment, professional services, and appearance contracts
  • Labor and employment
  • Immigration visas
  • Public financing and zoning compliance
  • Real estate, acquisition, and construction of esports properties
  • Venue hire agreements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Advertising, promotions, and sponsorships
  • Communications, media rights, and broadcasting
  • Tax planning, counseling, and advocacy

All Insights

Getting Creative with Video Games: Whose Game Is It, Anyway?

Getting Creative with Video Games: Whose Game Is It, Anyway?

October 2, 2019

In this series, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of intellectual property law as they relate specifically to video game companies and other unique players in the space, including esports teams and content creators.

Getting Creative with Video Games: DMCA Takedowns and You

Getting Creative with Video Games: DMCA Takedowns and You

September 18, 2019

In this series, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of intellectual property law as they relate specifically to video game companies and other unique players in the space, including esports teams and content creators.

Getting Creative with Video Games: Copyright, Public Domain, and Fair Use

Getting Creative with Video Games: Copyright, Public Domain, and Fair Use

September 11, 2019

In this series, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of intellectual property law as they relate specifically to video game companies and other unique players in the space, including esports teams and content creators.

The Game of the Name: Making Sure Your Trademark Is Available

The Game of the Name: Making Sure Your Trademark Is Available

August 29, 2019

In this series, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of intellectual property law as they relate specifically to video game companies and other unique players in the space, including esports teams and content creators.

The Game of the Name: Choosing a Trademark for Your Video Game

The Game of the Name: Choosing a Trademark for Your Video Game

August 15, 2019

In this series, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of intellectual property law as they relate specifically to video game companies and other unique players in the space, including esports teams and content creators.

LAN Party Lawyers: Live from Guardian Con 2019 (Part 2)

LAN Party Lawyers: Live from Guardian Con 2019 (Part 2)

August 1, 2019

In this special episode recorded live on the floor of Guardian Con 2019 in Orlando, Steve and Nick interview Bennett Newsome, Full Sail University’s Esports Strategist and a partnered Twitch streamer. They discuss the challenges and rewards in collegiate esports, as well as the journey to realizing one’s dream on the largest streaming platform in the world.

LAN Party Lawyers: Live from Guardian Con 2019 (Part 1)

LAN Party Lawyers: Live from Guardian Con 2019 (Part 1)

July 19, 2019

In this special episode recorded live on the floor of Guardian Con 2019 in Orlando, Steve and Nick interview Slate Schwertner of 505 Games and Vida Starčević of Remedy Games.

S1:E11 - Not All Fun and Games: Employment Issues in the Esports and Gaming Industry

S1:E11 - Not All Fun and Games: Employment Issues in the Esports and Gaming Industry

July 1, 2019

Employment-related issues abound in esports and the video game industry. Join Steve and Nick in the last episode of Season One of the LAN Party Lawyers podcast as they discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the industry - from the problem of "crunch," to esport player contracts. They are joined by entertainment lawyer Steve Sidman, who offers valuable insights based on more than two decades of experience representing creative talent and industry players.

S1:E10 - Covering Your Digital Assets: Intellectual Property Rights and Gaming

S1:E10 - Covering Your Digital Assets: Intellectual Property Rights and Gaming

June 19, 2019

Steve and Nick explore intellectual property rights issues in gaming, and discuss recent cases involving alleged copyright and trademark infringement with intellectual property lawyer Gail Podolsky.

S1:E9 - Investing in Esports: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

S1:E9 - Investing in Esports: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

June 5, 2019

Join Steve and Nick as they discuss the spectacular rise of esports, as well as various ways companies are investing in esports. They are joined by startup and venture capital attorney Adam Smith, who highlights some of the concerns unique to investing in esports and businesses in this space.

S1:E8 - Censoring Online Influencers: FTC Endorsement Guidelines and the First Amendment

S1:E8 - Censoring Online Influencers: FTC Endorsement Guidelines and the First Amendment

May 22, 2019

The FTC regulates endorsements and promotions by online influencers, including those in the gaming space. Join Steve and Nick as they discuss these guidelines as well as best practices for both influencers and companies behind the campaigns. They also interview First Amendment lawyer Justin Wales and discuss the guidelines’ impact on online speech.

S1:E7 - Unfinished Business: Legal and Practical Issues with Early Access Games

S1:E7 - Unfinished Business: Legal and Practical Issues with Early Access Games

May 8, 2019

Steve and Nick explain the Early Access model for releasing games, explore the legal and practical considerations that come with it, and debate its impact on the gaming industry.

S1:E6 -  The Impact of Net Neutrality on the Esports and E-Gaming Industry

S1:E6 - The Impact of Net Neutrality on the Esports and E-Gaming Industry

April 24, 2019

Steve and Nick discuss the state of the law on net neutrality, and the cases for and against it. They also explore its rarely discussed impact on esports and the video game industry with professional streamer Kevin Murray (aka kmagic101), who offers valuable insight and a unique perspective on this hot-button topic.

S1:E5 -  Bugging Out: The Legal Effects of Bugs and Glitches in Games

S1:E5 - Bugging Out: The Legal Effects of Bugs and Glitches in Games

April 10, 2019

Steve and Nick explore the legal consequences of bugs in video games and exploits in esports with litigator and former prosecutor Jack Clabby.

S1:E4 - Raiding Your Vault: Cybersecurity in Gaming

S1:E4 - Raiding Your Vault: Cybersecurity in Gaming

March 26, 2019

Steve and Nick discuss cybersecurity incidents impacting the video game industry, from brute-force attacks to swatting. They also interview professional streamer Ben Bowman (AKA Professor Broman), and review potential legal recourse for those who have suffered a gaming-related cyber incident.

LAN Party Lawyers Live at Ultimate Gamer Miami

LAN Party Lawyers Live at Ultimate Gamer Miami

March 15, 2019

In this special episode recorded live on the floor of the inaugural UG competition in Miami, Steve and Nick interview UG CEO Steve Suarez and Esports host/commentator Arda Ocal. They discuss the vision behind UG and the rise and future of the Esports industry from an insider's perspective.

S1:E3 - Even the Games Have Eyes: Data Privacy and Gaming

S1:E3 - Even the Games Have Eyes: Data Privacy and Gaming

March 13, 2019

Steve and Nick take a deep dive into the emerging legal issues surrounding data privacy in gaming. They discuss the history of data collection in games and how that data has been used, and explore some of the regulatory restraints and challenges facing industry players. Then, in the 1v1 Showdown they debate various approaches to regulating these sensitive issues.

S1:E2 - One Step Closer to Skynet: Artificial Intelligence and Gaming

S1:E2 - One Step Closer to Skynet: Artificial Intelligence and Gaming

February 27, 2019

Steve and Nick examine how increasingly complex AI and neural networks have been developed using games as the testing grounds. They also interview Pedro Pavón, a thought leader in AI, about the legal and policy implications AI has for the future.

S1:E1 - All-In on Loot Boxes

S1:E1 - All-In on Loot Boxes

February 12, 2019

In this inaugural episode of LAN Party Lawyers, Steve and Nick discuss the increasingly popular phenomenon of including loot boxes in digital games. They also examine the growing concerns about loot boxes by regulators around the world and debate whether loot boxes should be considered a form of gambling.

Key Contacts

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Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.