I have just completed creating a set of 100 visual puzzles. I believe these are a new kind of a puzzle that should complement well the two classics: the crossword puzzle and the sudoku puzzle. While the crossword is a verbal/trivia puzzle and the sudoku is a number/math puzzle, my PATTERN SQUARE is a visual puzzle.
Like my MAZE SQUARES, the PATTERN SQUARES are not only a game but also art. The puzzles are visual abstraction (non-objective, minimalism) and will be offered in a book format and as art prints. Unlike my MAZE SQUARES, the PATTERN SQUARES require a marking tool. They are meant to be completed by the player using a pen or a pencil.
Currently I am in the process of doing research as to whether this puzzle is an original idea that I need to protect with a patent or just a unique variation on an already existing idea. A unique variation will require only a copyright protection. A quick internet research (a more thorough bookstore field trip will come soon) showed that there is not anything like my puzzle out there.
But in my research I came across these two rather alarming submission guidelines (I highlighted the alarming passages):
[DK Publishing] Neither the corporation nor its imprints assume responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts which we may receive. As such, it is recommended that sole original copies of any manuscript not be submitted, as the corporation is not responsible for the return of any manuscript (whether sent electronically or by mail), nor do we guarantee a response. Further, in receiving a submission, we do not assume any duty not to publish a book based on a similar idea, concept or story.
[Satori Publishers] Any submission(s) received become the wholly-owned property of Satori Publishing, including, but not limited to, content, inventions and concepts, as well as concomitant and/or tangential ideas, and may be destroyed, scavenged, utilized or assimilated upon receipt without remuneration. All claims and rights of trademarks, patents and/or copyrights of such submissions to Satori Publishing are considered to be waived. Under no circumstances will submissions be returned or acknowledged, whether or not the submission contains a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
My first response on reading these submissions is why would any creator submit any original work or idea to either one of these companies. This is is exactly why I have to be careful not to publicly share any of my ideas for projects publicly. It is much easier and cheaper for a publishing director or editor to simply steal an idea and hire their own people to create a project based on it than to have to remunerate the creator who came up with the idea. This is where patent law becomes essential. Anyone with an original idea has to protect that idea with a patent before he or she reveals it in public.
Ideas have value, monetary value, and it is very important, I believe, that those who come up with ideas are satisfactorily remunerated. Stealing an idea is like stealing money. No, it is worse than stealing money because what is stolen is not only money but creative credit.