World Intellectual Property Organization

Building Respect for IP in Sport

WIPO’s work on building respect for intellectual property (IP) in sport is part of its strategic goal to build respect for IP around the world. The growing importance of IP for the business of sport has underscored the need for better enforcement, while taking due note of sociol, economic and development concerns. An environment in which IP is respected is more likely to encourage sponsorship engagement and confidence in relation to major sports events, and contribute to societal well-being and development goals.


(Photo: iStockphoto © Bob Thomas)

On request, WIPO assists member states in implementing a legal framework for effective IP enforcement. At the same time, capacity building and awareness raising events, organized by WIPO in cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations and the private sector, aim to ensure that all those involved in sports and sports events acknowledge the importance and benefits of respecting IP rights. Specialized training programmes for law enforcement officials and the judiciary help to ensure effective action against flagrant intellectual property violations that erode the benefits associated with the hosting of major sport events. In addition, the private sector is encouraged to establish development-oriented projects as a valuable and creative approach to nurturing respect for IP.

WIPO’s recent activities in the context of building respect for IP in sport include legal and technical assistance at the national, sub-regional and regional levels for developing member states hosting major sports events.  Examples are the Cricket World Cup - played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2011 - and the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa in 2010.

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