People have been involved in sports activities since remote ages. The sports industry has always been a massive sector that has brought along various cultures, economies, monetary business, and trade opportunities right from the barbaric era through the glorious days of Caesar to the twenty first century money-making sports industry. The industry has become a multi-billion dollar global industry that generates enormous investments and employs a multitude of people from all around the world. This industry when uses the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), it encourages more innovation and creativity by making sure that inventors and creators get a fair reward for their work and can earn a living from it and to protect the goodwill that is vested in brands. More innovation and creativity in sports means an access to a continuous flow of new ways to enhance the sports performance and our enjoyment of sports – better equipment, more business opportunities, more jobs, and a fabulous fan experience.
Business relationships built on IP rights helps to secure the economic value of sports. This stimulates the growth and flourishment of the sports industry by enabling the sports organizations to finance and invest in the events savoured by the mass. They also promote the development of sports at the grassroots. The scope of Intellectual Property Rights is of immense importance in the sports industry. Intellectual Property Rights are endowed in almost every component of the industry.
26th of April, every year is celebrated as the World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Reach for Gold – takes a closer look inside the world of sports. It explores how innovation, creativity, and the IP rights that encourage and protect them support the development of sport and its enjoyment around the world. It delves into the sports industry to take a close look at how Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) like patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, and related rights support the global ecosystem of sports, a unique landscape bringing together various elements of the world of sports with varying degrees of overlapping interests and likes.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is a specialized agency of the United Nations is created to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social, and cultural development of all countries through a balanced and effective Intellectual Property system. Apart from easing the way for the protection of Intellectual Property, WIPO also works towards ensuring the benefit of the sports industry is widespread and deep. The IP rights such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs have become a noteworthy value to the sporting arena. The business of sports requires a solid legal framework to support the exploitation of and trade in IP rights, as well as well-trained workforce to create a favourable policy and regulatory environment and to manage the operational and logistical issues associated with organizing sports events. The strategic use of IP rights in global sports has significant potential to support economic development in a variety of ways by generating income from the sale of sports related goods and services that have been vested by IPR. It also supports innovation and business growth, entrepreneurship and job creation. It also enhances a country’s reputation and boosting foreign exchange earnings by boosting international trade. Another great lead of IPR in sports is the transcending of national differences and the fostering of universal values of fair play, mutual respect, and friendship.
The global sports ecosystem is made up of a very compound web of players and commercial relationships that are nurtured by IP rights. The strategic and planned use of these IP rights has, to a large extent, enabled the rapid growth of the global sports industry, and will continue to play a central role in the future evolution of sports in a rapidly evolving and perpetual technology-driven landscape.