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February 11, 2011 3:38 PM

Game On: Video Game Bar Association Launches

Posted by Drew Combs

Videogameconsole

There's a Cyberspace Bar Association and an Energy Bar Association, so why not a Video Game Bar Association.

The video game industry has matured over the past decade into a significant part of the country's entertainment economy. Last year American consumers spent at least $15.4 billion on game content, according to estimates from market research NPD Group. (By comparison, movie box office revenues totaled $10.5 billion in 2010.) And according to the Entertainment Software Association, computer and video game companies employ, directly or indirectly, more than 120,000 people in 34 states.

As the industry has grown, a cadre of litigators, intellectual property specialists, and deal lawyers have come to specialize in handling legal matters for video game companies and developers. Now, those lawyers have a bar association of their very own. On February 8 the Video Game Bar Association launched with a five-member board that includes in-house counsel and firm lawyers.

The association, which hopes to host continuing legal education seminars and networking events, has sent out membership invitations to over 100 lawyers, according to this article from The National Law Journal, an Am Law Daily sibling publication. The group's inaugural meeting will be held on March 2 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Reed Smith counsel Patrick Sweeney, who heads the firm's video game practice, has spearheaded the effort to establish the association. Sweeney told The National Law Journal, "Over the years, the number of people whose core practice is in the games business has grown significantly."

In recent years, several firms, including Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and Loeb & Loeb have established video game practice groups.

Sweeney added, "There is no organization that allows us to get to know each other and share ideas. The Copyright Society is too broad. We want something more specifically catered to us."

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Wanted: Lawyers Who Know Their Way Around a Joystick
The Am Law Daily, June 8, 2009

Firms Lining Up for Their Turn at Video Game Case
The Am Law Daily, September 20, 2010

 

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