World Intellectual Property Organization

Summary of the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (1981)

All States party to the Nairobi Treaty are under the obligation to protect the Olympic symbol – five interlaced rings – against use for commercial purposes (in advertisements, on goods, as a mark, etc.) without the authorization of the International Olympic Committee.

An important effect of the Treaty is that, if the International Olympic Committee grants authorization to use the Olympic symbol in a State party to the Treaty, the National Olympic Committee of that State is entitled to a part in any revenue the International Olympic Committee obtains for granting the said authorization.

The Treaty does not provide for the institution of a Union, governing body or budget.

The Treaty is open to any State member of WIPO, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883), the United Nations or any of the specialized agencies brought into relationship with the United Nations. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO.

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