Important Details Regarding the Use of Intellectual Property Rights,
in Particular Catan GmbH Brand Names and Copyrighted Artwork


Catan lives on its players, and the enthusiasm for this game sometimes gives rise to the desire to be more than just a player; one wants to take part in the world of Catan. For example, there are already many sites on the Internet dealing with the topic “Catan,” and some of them are very well done.


We think that's terrific, and we are thankful for the support we have received that way.


We're also glad to encourage this. However, life sometimes is more complicated than one would like. As holders of intellectual property rights, particularly of the trademark Catan, as creators of and licensors for various products and services, and also as purchasers of rights to use third-party copyrights required to manufacture a commercial product, it is our duty to control the distribution and use of these rights as well as of the material put in circulation by us and to intervene in case of abuse. In this regard, some fans are uncertain as to what is allowed and what isn’t - an uncertainty sometimes not unfamiliar to us either. On the one hand, we want to give fans of the game our support; on the other hand, however, we have to prevent people from using Catan for their commercial purposes and maybe even from harming Catan through their actions. In some way, people's actions always redound on us, too, and ultimately are detrimental to the game and to the players.

In order to reduce this uncertainty among fans, we have reflected on the use of our intellectual property rights, and the results are listed in this document. Whoever plans to open up a website about the topic Catan: please take our thoughts into account. In this context, we have to point out that these thoughts are not final and may be subject to modification and expansion.


However, we must emphasize the following: The statements as detailed below only concern the intellectual property Catan GmbH is entitled to (which, in the case of artwork, refers particularly to artwork used in the electronic games) - not the rights that the publishing houses KOSMOS and/or MAYFAIR GAMES acquired from third parties or created on its own. Therefore, if the object of interest is, for example, artwork from the Board Game, Card Game, or Dice Game, approval from MAYFAIR GAMES and/or KOSMOS must also be obtained.


I) Trademarks, Logos, Artwork, and Other Intellectual Property Rights

1) Our word and image trademarks such as “Catan” and “Prof. Easy,” registered worldwide in different forms, as well as artwork and other intellectual property rights (such as various game-specific trademarks) may, of course, be used freely in the context of reporting (e.g., in reviews of the Board Game or the Catan Online World). This is part of the freedom of press and does not require any permission. The Catan logo may also be used in the context of such reporting.


2) Regarding the commercial use of our property rights, we only grant permission if the user enters into a license agreement with us that is tailored to the respective situation. Therefore, whoever wants to use our intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks and logos, in any form in the context of generating income needs to have a license agreement with us. If the logo or the graphic manifestation of the word “Catan” or the term “The Settlers of Catan” is used for accessories such as card holders, game tables, storage boxes, and whatever other product ideas might exist - they may only be distributed with permission of Catan GmbH. 

We consider it a case of income generation and, thus, commercial use if remunerated advertising via “banner links” or “sponsored links” takes place on the website, even if the “remuneration” occurs only via a cost reduction for web hosting; the same is true if people are asked to make “donations” for the operation of the site or such “donations” are collected, or if the website operator wants other types of trade-off for visiting or using the site.  

Whoever wants to use our rights in such a fashion should contact us via to negotiate licensing. We are disposed to consider all proposals, particularly if they are beneficial for the world of Catan, but we reserve the right to reject a license inquiry without giving reasons.


3) Delimitation becomes more difficult when products or websites are named after our known trademarks and other terms, for example, “Catan Blog” or “Catan Forum” (even if the URL reads differently). Since the danger of confusion with the official offer is too high here, we would allow this kind of use only after a detailed consultation with us and only on a very limited scale. Regrettably, we have to object against any use in this context that was not consulted with us, and, depending on the case, we also may have to take action against such use.


4) For the official logos, the situation is exactly the same as previously described for the trademarks and other terms. Important: Even if the user creates his own logo, and the logo is not only similar to our logos but may be confused with them, he still runs a risk in that we will have to object against and take action against the use of the logo. In this case, it is better to ask us beforehand.

Except for purposes of general reporting and of distributing official Catan products, the official graphic manifestation of the word “Catan” or the term “The Settlers of Catan” may not be used.

The official Catan Online World logo may be used for websites that directly refer to the Catan Online World and that come within the scope of the below-mentioned rules. The logo may be downloaded from the same page where the present document can be found. In addition, all artwork provided with the COW installation may also be used, except for the artwork of the Card Game


II) Domain Names, Subdomains, and Subdirectories


Without our approval, domain names and subdomains must not contain the words Catan or Prof. Easy. We consent to the use of these words only on very rare occasions or in case of licensed products, because otherwise the danger of confusion with the business sites would be too high.



May not be used:

May be used:


Likewise, the use of subdirectories that either carry the name “Catan” or “Prof. Easy” or names that could be confused with these terms is not permitted, because we do not want search engines to place unofficial offers before the official offers. The same applies to the denomination of data files.


III) General Rules for the Permitted Use of Our Property Rights


If - according to the principles established above, or, respectively, after consultation and approval by us - a use of our property rights is in principle possible, there are still limitations to their use that must be observed. We have established the following rules, to be observed by anyone who uses our trademarks, artwork, or logos as well as our other intellectual property rights:


1) We grant permission to use these materials only for websites that


a) are operated exclusively - that is, in all parts of the website under the respective domain - in a non-commercial and private fashion,


b) predominantly deal with Catan and its associated products or services, “predominantly” meaning more than 50 percent of the contents under a domain,


c) do not offer any immoral, offensive, or unlawful content of any type.

2) On each page where the trademarks “Catan” and/or “Prof. Easy” are used, the following copyright reference must be placed:


Catan and/or Prof. Easy are registered trademarks of Catan GmbH


3) In addition, the following reference - in the language of the website - must be placed, in a clearly visible fashion, on the main page, i.e. on the page that is viewed the most:


This offer is independent from Catan GmbH. Catan GmbH is in no way responsible for the contents.


Important: Compliance with these rules does not automatically result in the right to use these materials at one's discretion. We still need to reserve the right to prohibit the use of our material in certain cases if we do not agree with the kind of use, even though the rules listed here are in principle being observed. Should there be doubt regarding the permitted use, people should contact us before activating their offer (

From the permitted use, no rights of the respective user can emerge that exceed this permission. The use is non-exclusive and only permitted to the operator of the website for the purposes of the website. The right granted in this fashion is non-transferable. Transference of the entire website to a third party is not permitted, least of all in return for payment of any kind. In no way can the website content be “sublicensed.” A license for this kind of use can only be given by us, not by the respective operator of the site.


IV) Adding One's Own Creations to the Games and Further Development of the World of Catan


We're familiar with the fact that third parties invent and publish scenarios, adaptations of the Dice Game, cards, or theme decks that rest upon the system of rules of the Catan games. This circumstance is not without problems for us, because it potentially affects us regarding the development of Catan. On the other hand, however, we acknowledge that fans come up with their own ideas for the game and want to put them into action. As a matter of fact, Catan is meant to be an open game, but we only tolerate the Internet publication of such scenarios, cards, and theme decks if no commercial use is made of it.

Publication of other developments of the world of Catan, in particular the publication of individually created texts or music, is tolerated only if explicit permission has been obtained from Catan GmbH. 

Other than that, Catan GmbH and the author Klaus Teuber reserve the right to further develop the game world associated with Catan in all respects, regardless of the scenarios, adaptations of the Dice Game, cards, or theme decks published on the Internet. Should ideas for scenarios, cards, and theme decks that can already be found in the “free” developments be implemented in this context - they are not seized or copied from there but result from the natural course of further developing the system of rules invented by Klaus Teuber. We cannot be - and don't want to be - curtailed regarding the further development of Catan by allowing that “free” developments “reserve” scenarios, dice games, cards, or theme decks that we want to design.


V) Commercial Use


We would like to explicitly point out that these statements only refer to non-commercial use. Whoever wants to make commercial use of our trademarks and licenses needs written permission. Therefore, please contact us directly. We are open to all proposals and will gladly listen to your business idea. Contact:

Copyright © 2007 Catan GmbH