IPR and SportsThe industry of sports has always been a prodigious sectoracross the world bringing together entertainment, games, culture and pecuniarybusiness, right from the barbaric era through the glorious days of Caesar tothe twenty first century money making sports industry. Sporting games havealways been encouraged by chieftain, governments, private individuals andentities interested not only in the games themselves but more in the financialbusiness quotient that sports entail. Sports which, for a very prolonged time,was considered an activity which was recreational, has nowadays become athorough materialistic activity effectuating elephantine profits.Earlier the sporting events were based on the competitionbetween different talents, but now money has procured a gigantic role in allthese events. Corporatization of sports has become gargantuan. Enormousimportance has been gained by different marketing aptitudes like franchising orbrand building of a sport or a player, overtaking other important components ofa game.
These distinct aptitudes like merchandising, franchising andbranding are the major contributors of revenues etc. which includesexploitation of different intellectual property rights of sports clubs. Withgradual proliferation in the business angle of sports, dormant IntellectualProperty Rights (IPRs) vesting in almost every facet of the sports industry arebeing tapped into and capitalized.Branding of sporting games and connected events, teams,sports clubs, celebrity status etc. can all be made feasible through theconstructive assets i.
e. IPRs which act as a marketing tool to make all of itpossible. Marketing dexterities are applied in fabrication,perpetuation, popularization and sustenance of distinctive marks, logos andpersonalities, while copyrights vesting in brand and image inception etc. areprotected to reap benefits on an exclusive basis considering the very nature ofcompetition in sports.
This article will highlight various components of IntellectualProperty that are devised in the undertaking of a club or a sports team. TRADEMARKSTrademarks in sports are usually in the embodiment ofcaptions, logos or tag lines etc. They are a distinctive indicator or a sigilrepresenting a business or trade. The most commonly created IP in sports istrademark. It acts as a catalyst for brand building in the sports business.Popularity of a certain sport is measured by the public rating.
Thismeasurement is further based on the trademark. It has become an ideogram of identification.Sponsorships and merchandises are some the forms in which it helps in augmentingthe brand value. A franchise’s brand equity is ascertained by sponsorshiprevenues and advertisement revenues which are in consociation with trademarks. Thus, protection of trademarks is of utmost priority as to indemnifycommercial interests. Trademarks Act, 1999 protects the trademarks of sportsclubs and further provides protection to its proprietors. The act states thatany proprietor can apply for registration under miscellaneous classes of servicesand goods in relation to which the trademarks are being maneuvered.
Civil andcriminal remedies are made available in the cases of trademark infringement.Another remedy available for the proprietor is under the anti-dilution law ( forwell-known or famous marks ).