Innovation and creativity are key drivers in the world of sport. In every sporting field, inventors and creators are working behind the scenes to push the boundaries, creating new opportunities for enjoyment and for athletes to better their performance.
Sport shows intellectual property (IP) in action. Patents encourage technological advances that result in better sporting equipment. Trademarks, brands and designs contribute to the distinct identity of events, teams and their gear. Copyright-related rights generate the revenues needed for broadcasters to invest in the costly undertaking of broadcasting sports events to fans all over the world. IP rights are the basis of licensing and merchandising agreements that earn revenues to support development of the sports industry.
A sports shoe may be protected by several IP rights:
- Patents protect the technology used to develop the shoe
- Designs protect the “look” of the shoe
- Trademarks distinguish the shoe from similar products and protect the “reputation” of the shoe (and the company making it)
- Copyright protects any artwork and audiovisual creations used to publicize the shoe