CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio IP Policy

CATAN® brand products enjoy global copyright and trademark protection. This overview of CATAN GmbH’s and CATAN Studio’s intellectual property (“IP”) should address many of the questions you have about our copyrights, trademarks, etc.

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio Copyrights

Copyright protection applies to the original manifestation of an idea. Humans generally use text or artwork or music to express (i.e., manifest) an idea. Only this manifestation of an idea receives protection. You cannot copyright the idea itself. This is true even in the case of a patent, which affords protection to a novel method, formula, or process.

A copyright infringement arises when someone publishes text, art, music, etc. that substantively recreates copyrighted material. For example, you may be subject to an action for copyright infringement if you sell a product that contains text or artwork that is derived from CATAN: Seafarers® material.

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio Trademarks

Trademark protection applies to the identification of goods and services in commerce. A trademark infringement usually arises when someone trades in commerce with a product or a service that is in whole or part identified with an existing mark. For instance, if you promote or sell a good because it contains—or is compatible with—CATAN: Cities & Knights® material, you are trading upon our trademark. The same applies when you exploit the mark “Catan” to draw attention to your product, e.g., as part of a headline on a sales page on or

IP Statements

CATAN GmbH of Schulgasse 43, 64380 Rossdorf, Germany is the owner of this site/publication and CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio are copyright holders of all material contained herein.

We respectfully ask that you respect these general notices regarding our intellectual property:

  • Unless otherwise specified or dated earlier/later, all material contained herein is Copyright © 2020 CATAN Studio, Inc. and CATAN GmbH. All rights reserved.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all trademarks contained herein are the property of CATAN GmbH. All rights reserved.

General IP Philosophy

CATAN thrives because of its enthusiastic player community. Sometimes this enthusiasm inspires players to take part creatively in the world of Catan. We think that’s terrific. We’re thankful for the support we have received over the years that way.

We are also glad to encourage this. But there are rules. While CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio will vigorously defend its IP ownership rights, we believe in the principle of “fair use.”

Therefore we encourage our consumers and trade customers to employ our IP freely for personal use. In some limited cases (e.g., magazine scenarios, art for charitable or organized play events, etc.), we may even encourage creation of “derivative works” (i.e., material based upon CATAN GmbH’s or CATAN Studio’ intellectual property) or satire and/or commentary.

Derivative Works and Fair Use

Derivative works occasionally fall into the category of “fair use.” This is the case if you craft a SINGLE handmade version of a game specifically for your own PERSONAL use. This is also the case with satire or commentary (e.g., review or analysis). Nonetheless, you cannot employ a trademark or heavily quote or recreate copyrighted material to an extent greater than that necessary to achieve this exceptional and legally “fair” purpose. We will not allow any changes to our graphic trademarks.

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio Permission Notice

Except in cases of legal “fair use,” you may not publish a derivative work based on our IP unless it is: (1) licensed or otherwise authorized by CATAN GmbH and/or CATAN Studio; and (2) its publication is accompanied by a valid permission notice in/by the credit notification stating: “Published with the permission of CATAN Studio, Inc. and its licensor CATAN GmbH.”

No Dilution

You may not publish a derivative work that substantively reduces or otherwise dilutes the value of CATAN GmbH’s and/or CATAN Studio’s IP. You may not sell said work. You may not give it away if it creates “dilution.” For instance, you dilute our IP when you create more than one handmade fair use copy for your own personal use.

No Manufacturing or Commercial Exploitation

Any unlicensed or unauthorized manufacturing of goods containing our IP, even for a good cause, constitutes IP infringement. Each and any direct (e.g., sale) or indirect (e.g., website that generates income via advertisement) commercial exploitation is not accepted.


You may not publish a derivative work based on our IP that is libelous, pornographic, or in other ways tortious or criminal in nature.

Quality Control

You may not publish a derivative work based on our IP that substantively deviates from the standards of quality associated with the product from which the work is derived.


Freeware is still governed by intellectual property law. Freeware may be, or embody, derivative work. The fact that it is electronic in character and derived from a non-electronic source is not relevant.

Protection of CATAN Licensees

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio protect our existing licensees. We stand behind them. Any infringement on their IP affects us and ultimately the CATAN® brand.

Contacting CATAN Studio and CATAN GmbH

Please contact us if you have questions about the use of our intellectual property (IP). It is especially important that you write us if you seek permission to use our IP outside the narrow confines of “fair use” (e.g., you want a license, however limited it might be).

Whatever the case, please email CATAN GmbH at [email protected].  They will direct your query to the appropriate member of our team. We will try and respond swiftly, but our response may take some time. We try to accommodate the needs of our community, but our response may be unfavorable.

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio Authorization

You should always obtain authorization for derivative works based on CATAN IP. Should you obtain our authorization, you will still need to comply with the following guidelines.

CATAN GmbH and CATAN Studio Credit Notification

You must incorporate a prominent copyright and trademark notice stating that the work is based upon CATAN GmbH’s and/or CATAN Studio’s work. You must specify the CATAN GmbH and/or CATAN Studio property upon which the derivative work is based. You must include the following IP statements:

  • Copyright © 2020 (or later date) CATAN Studio, Inc. and CATAN GmbH. All rights reserved.
  • All trademarks contained herein are the property of CATAN GmbH. All rights reserved.

Designer Credit Notification

You must incorporate a prominent notice stating exactly how the work is derived from another work. You must clearly and prominently credit the original author(s) and owner(s) accordingly.

  • Based upon “CATAN,” a creation and design of Klaus Teuber and property of CATAN GmbH.
  • All derivative material is published with specific permission of, and license from, CATAN Studio, Inc. and its licensor CATAN GmbH.

January 1, 2017 – CATAN Studio, Inc and CATAN GmbH