The Game Industry Conference Legal Summit is the key gathering of world experts on new regulatory trends and cutting-edge legal knowledge in the game industry. The event will feature meetings and discussions with industry leaders from Europe, Asia and the US. We invite you to experience the world of video games from the perspectives of CEOs, publishers, producers, lawyers, enthusiasts, and regulatory experts. An outstanding group of speakers will be addressing the gathering. Do not miss this unique event!
The Game Industry Conference is one of the most important and largest events for both enthusiasts and experts in the game development field in Europe. More than 3,000 visitors, over 40 exhibitors, and numerous gamedev professionals are expected to take part. This is the best meeting venue for Polish and foreign game industry players. The GIC, together with Poznań Game Arena, constitutes the largest event dedicated to video games, offering professional knowledge exchange, workshops, numerous B2B exhibitions, and GRIP meetings.
GIC Legal Summit 2022
What are we going to talk about?
We plan to look at important regulatory developments worldwide, legal issues associated with AI, geopolitical and legal risks affecting game development and how to avoid them, legal and business solutions, and mistakes to avoid. In addition, we will discuss the challenges and future of debt financing in the gaming sector.
Who is this event for?
All those interested in the video game industry – lawyers, law students and others who deal with the business and the legal aspects of the video game business in Poland – are invited to attend the summit.
This year’s GIC Legal Summit, powered by Rymarz Zdort Maruta, is two days of meetings with representatives of the video game sector and experts dealing with the legal and business aspects of video games. The summit will kick off on 5 October 2023 (Thursday) and continue through 6 October 2023 (Friday). It will be divided into panel discussions and feature keynote speeches by Kate Edwards and Jari Pekka-Kaleva.
9:00 – 10:00 Registration & Coffee
10:00 – 10:15 Opening – Michał Pękała, LL.M. (Rymarz Zdort Maruta)
10:15 – 11:20 Panel No 1 – How dare U(nity)!? Should engine providers be free to do what they want?
Moderator: Mateusz Witczak,
Panelists: Jari-Pekka Kaleva (European Games Developer Federation, EGDF), Michał Pękała, LL.M. (Rymarz Zdort Maruta), Simone Watzinger (Medien.Bayern GmbH, Games/Bavaria), Mikołaj Marcisz (Vavel Games)
Description: Unity has stirred up a hornet’s nest and set the world of indie developers on fire. The Unity scene is furious, with Unity facing plenty of backlash amid discussions about the consequences Unity may face if they follow through with their new pricing model. But are those furious developers right? Should Unity or other engine/tool providers be free to act as they see fit? Who is wrong and who is right in this dispute? We will discuss what can happen as a result, how things stand from the legal perspective and what can be done in the future to prevent such situations.
11:25 – 12:30 Panel No 2 –Cross-media licensing. Creating movies, boardgames, etc., based on your game
Moderator: Vlad Micu (Data Realms)
Panelists: Tomasz Gadomski (11 bit studios), Prof. David Greenspan, Michał Matysiak (Rymarz Zdort Maruta)
Description: Video games are storming their way into other entertainment industries. Movies, boardgames and toys are becoming standard ways to expand a successful video game franchise. It has become a natural thing to think about video games in a broader perspective than simply as games. But what is natural for the gaming industry has not yet been embraced by the business and legal departments in other industries, especially in relation to the movie industry. The panel will focus on ways to facilitate “making the deal” rather than “breaking the deal”, and how to practically achieve this.
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 14:30 Panel No 3 – A clash of cultures – differences in approaching contracts between the US, UK and EU
Moderator: Vlad Micu (Data Realms)
Panelists: Prof. David Greenspan, Michał Pękała, LL.M. (Rymarz Zdort Maruta), Nav Sunner (Navatron)
Description: Although we have a globalised economy, we still differ, especially in terms of approaching contract negotiation. Approaches to European common law systems often differ from those of other countries. This also applies to how US/UK and European lawyers approach structuring and negotiating contracts. During this panel we will discuss areas that often result in misunderstandings and roadblocks, and how to mitigate and work around those effectively.
14:30 – 15:30 Panel No 4 – The challenges and future of debt financing in the video games sector
Moderator: JDr Jakub Rachwol (Rymarz Zdort Maruta)
Panelists: Paweł Derengiewicz (BNP Paribas), Piotr Goguś (Something Random, IndieBI, SUPERHOT), Tomasz Niewola (mBank), Łukasz Stanecki (PwC Polska)
Description: The Polish video games sector generally does not view banks as partners who can support their businesses. Often, video game companies turn to private investors, publishers or VCs to fund their projects. But does it have to be that way? Why give away equity if financing can be obtained through the use of a simple line of credit?
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 – 17:00 Panel No 5 – The nightmare of multi-jurisdictional copyright lawsuits. Would IP Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs) solve the problem?
Moderator: Yaraslau Kot (BelGameDev)
Panelists: Alexandre Rudoni (Allen & Overy France), Barnaba Rud-Chlipalski (Rymarz Zdort Maruta), Francesco de Rugeriis (LCA Studio Legale)
Description: Every country has its own set of copyright laws. While that made sense 100 years ago, it has become a true nightmare with respect to disputes over video game IP, where a potential dispute could span several (or even dozens of) countries. Can anything be done to lower the costs and time of proceedings, and increase the effectiveness of court decisions? Yes: arbitration. During this panel, we will discuss how ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) works and why it can be a game changer in copyright lawsuits.
17:00 – 18:00 Panel No 6 – 2024-2025, How will the EU regulate the video games industry?
Speaker: Jari-Pekka Kaleva (European Games Developer Federation, EGDF)
Description: EGDF Managing Director Jari-Pekka Kaleva will talk about upcoming changes in EU regulations and how to prepare yourself for them. Having been present at many official EU meetings and being a member of many groups that have shaped the gaming industry legislation of the future, Mr Kaleva will share, first-hand, his account of things to come. This is also a unique opportunity to directly connect with a legislator who keeps his finger on the pulse of the gaming industry in every country in Europe.
10:00 – 11:00 Panel No 7 – Trademarks – it’s never been easier to get one!
Speakers: Monika A. Górska & Lena Marcinoska-Boulangé (Wardyński & Partners)
Believe it or not, even if you are a small-scale developer, registering a trademark is the way to protect the title of your game. Why? It is not as expensive as you think! Right now, you can qualify for reimbursement of up to EUR 1,000 to cover trademark registration fees in the EU. Do not waste such an opportunity! We will show you, step-by-step, the process of registering a trademark. Not convinced yet? We will give you an example of a David-versus-Goliath gamedev story in which a small studio fended off a giant competitor, simply because they registered a trademark whereas the giant failed to do so. We will discuss how to use a trademark to stop the publishing of games with titles similar to yours, and what to do if STEAM removes your game because of an alleged trademark infringement. Come and learn why registering a trademark is a good idea and how to do it.
11:00 – 12:00 Panel No 8 – How Company Values Influence the Global Success of a Game
Speaker: Kate Edwards (Geogrify/SetJetters)
Description: The real-world geopolitical and cultural impact on game developers and game content has never been as clear as in recent times, resulting in companies having to reevaluate their creative choices. With new policies and local restrictions being constantly revised and/or imposed by various jurisdictions, more companies are faced with the challenge of reconciling their values against the ongoing interest in generating revenue in certain markets (e.g. China). This session focuses on how the values of game companies are often challenged by current events (e.g. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), and how game developers can be better prepared before and after their games are released. The presentation will be given by Kate Edwards, a geographer and culturalisation strategist with over 30 years of experience in helping game creators navigate the complex challenges of a game’s global release.
12:00 – 12:30 Coffee Break
12:30 – 14:00 Panel No 9 – AUA: “That depends!” or ask a lawyer about (almost) anything (*Language: Polish, no translation provided)
Moderator: Kamila Dulska-Maksara (Gamedev Lawyers Association)
Panellists: Jakub Marcinkowski (EQ1), Michał Pękała, LL.M. (Rymarz Zdort Maruta), Agnieszka Rabenda-Ozimek (Kancelaria Radcy Prawnego Agnieszka Rabenda-Ozimek, GLA) Dominika Strupiechowska (Gamedev Lawyers Association), Agnieszka Wilk (AWiK)
Description: The AUA (Ask Us Anything) session is a series of discussions with experts regarding specific topics focused on answering questions from the audience. You can either listen to interesting conversation or have your problem solved in a matter of minutes by raising a hand. The AUA session is a combination of a panel and a roundtable, with several experts ready to answer various questions from the audience. “How to start a studio?” “How to get on the stock exchange?” “How to handle a first contract?” “How to protect the name of the game and your studio?” – ask us anything! Seek answers from top lawyers who are gamers at heart. Come and be part of the discussion!
Panellists and moderators
Jari-Pekka is the Managing Director of the European Game Developers Federation. He works with the gamedev industry throughout Europe and regularly takes part in strategic meetings organised by the EU, UNICEF, UN and others that will shape gaming industry regulations for years to come. Who better to tell us about what to prepare for in Europe?
Kate Edwards is an award-winning 30+ year veteran of the game industry, and the CEO and principal consultant of Geogrify, a consultancy which innovated content culturalization, as well as the CXO and Co-Founder of SetJetters, a film tourism app. She is also the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and the Global Game Jam. In addition to serving in several board and advisory roles, she is a geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. In 2021, she was included in the Forbes’ “50 Over 50” Vision List and was also inducted into the Women in Games Hall of Fame.
Alexandre is a Partner in the Intellectual Property and Litigation department at Allen & Overy Paris. He also leads Allen & Overy’s global ‘Gaming, Interactive & Entertainment Group’. His key areas of expertise are high-end trademark and copyright litigation, where he assists right holders or alleged infringers in pre-trial or court litigation, and transactional IP, for which he delivers strategic advice in complex operations where IP are considered as key assets. He has developed a solid practice, advising companies in the hi-tech, media and entertainment industries. He has built a strong client base in the video game sector and durable relationships with some of the biggest brands on the market.
Expert in Finance and CFO in Game Industry from 5 years now. Responsible for finance, legal and M&A activities. Since 2019 Piotr is a Chief Financial Officer at SUPERHOT – Polish VR Game Developer. CFO at IndieBI – SaaS Platform for Game Developers and Publishers that allows to collect their exact sales data across multiple platforms, analyze that data and boost their revenue. Co-Founder, VP of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer at Something Random S.A. Before joining Game Industry, Piotr was a Financial Controller responsible for Middle East and Northern Europe at RTB House and a Consultant at EY (General Audit Department).
Francesco de Rugeriis is a Senior Associate at LCA Studio Legale, a full-service Italian law firm.
His primary area of expertise lies in intellectual property law, entertainment law, media and advertising law, information technology law, consumer law, and personal data protection. He primarily serves clients within the video games and esports industry, as well as those in traditional entertainment and other creative sectors. Francesco assists these clients in contracts’ drafting and negotiation, managing intellectual property assets to increase their value, and addressing potential litigation.
Legal Expert at 11 bit studio and lecturer of MBA class on Management of IP at PJATK Academy in Warsaw. Being a games, movies and TV addict combines his hands-on experience with intellectual property law with passion for media and pop-culture. What brings him the most joy is the ever growing list of movies on IMDB.com he was legal advisor for.
Vlad Micu is a free agent and business development professional in the game industry with a strong reputation for creating long-term relationships and generating new sources of revenue that lead to significant returns for his clients.
He is an experienced evangelist with a strong network who is equally able to take the lead as well as be part of a team and has an established track record of being able to easily adapt to new challenges and environments in order to deliver success. Vlad is credited in over 30 videogame products on mobile, VR, console and PC.
With his own company VGVisionary, Vlad travels the world to speak at events, meet with game developers and offer advice, introductions and support to those proactively seeking help.
David Greenspan has been involved in the video game business for over 25 years working, independently and in Business and Legal Affairs for some of the most significant video game publishers at the time in the industry. He has worked for Sony, THQ, Bandai Namco Entertainment America, and Midway Games.
He has negotiated hundreds of agreements involving major game developers, publishers, distributors, motion picture studios, professional sports leagues, television networks, and advertisers. At Bandai, he put together a deal where Pac-Man was featured in a television commercial seen by over 20 million people on the internet and 125 million people during the 2015 Super Bowl.
He has taught at several law schools, including Santa Clara University School of Law and at the University of Miami Law School. He was one of the first to teach legal and business issues covering the video game industry at the university level and he was also one of the first to teach a transactional class at law school.
Nav Sunner is the founder of a video games legal and business consultancy called ‘Navatron’. Nav’s been involved with the video games industry since the 90’s and been a gamer since the 70’s. He’s a qualified lawyer and holds a Masters in Intellectual Property Law. He has acted as both in-house counsel and external adviser for a variety of companies in the industry including some of the largest developers, publishers and service companies. Later he moved into business development/strategy roles. Prior to setting up Navatron, he was part of the management team of a major publisher’s games studio where he was responsible for forging and managing all key external partnerships. Nav also holds advisory and board positions for some video game developers and publishers and gets involved in the acquisitions, investments and IPO’s of video games businesses.
Pawel Derengiewicz is a Head of Structured Finance Office, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A.. Prior to joining the Bank in 2020, he was involved in structured finance for more than 13 years, leading numerous financing transactions in M&A, LBO, investment, project finance, RES, including syndications and arranging club-deal transactions in the interbank market.
GIC Legal Summit is powered by Rymarz Zdort Maruta
Rymarz Zdort Maruta was formed as a result of the merger of two leading law firms – Rymarz Zdort, a leader in many areas of transactional practice, and Maruta Wachta, a forerunner and pioneer in technology transformation. Rymarz Zdort Maruta has been providing legal services in new technology, video games, intellectual property, litigation, public procurement, data protection and other areas of law for over 25 years. It has the first legal team in Poland focused entirely on the video game industry. Read more about the Video Games & Entertainment Team.
If you would like to co-facilitate the GIC Legal Summit with us and receive more information about sponsorship packages, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
GIC Legal Summit Powered by Rymarz Zdort Maruta is organized by Maruta Consulting sp. z o.o. The law firm Rymarz Zdort Maruta and GRC Legal are the substantive partners of the event.
What should you do to participate?
The summit is open to all those who have registered using the form below. Participation in the event is completely free of charge, but the number of places is limited. Registration is required to participate, both for GIC ticket holders and others. If you have any questions, please contact us by email at: email@example.com
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Find out what the GIC Legal Summit 2022 looked like
Common pitfalls and obstacles in VC agreements–contractual and IP perspective
Building More Inclusive Worlds through Game Culturalization
Overview of problems of relocating game dev studios in EU
Overview of the global game dev law
The legal mess to get ready for – the EU copyright reform