Intellectual Property in Sports

April 26, the day World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was founded and the agreement entered into force, is celebrated as the World Intellectual Property Day. World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated with various events in 188 member countries each year, brings the importance and value of intellectual property to the agenda.

The main purpose of World Intellectual Property Day is to reveal the effects of intellectual and industrial property rights on the social, economic and cultural development of countries; to increase our awareness of patents, trademarks, copyrights and promoting creativity.

Turkey's participation in WIPO was approved by the Council of Ministers Decision No. 7/10540 dated August 14, 1975, and Turkey has become a member of the organization as of May 12, 1976. Turkey has made great progress in the last 15 years in the field of intellectual and industrial property.

It is the most natural right of an artist to show his work to society, to receive the fruits of his hard work and to protect his work. This is protection by copyrights. Intellectual property rights provide the right to demand to stop the imitation of the work of the artist or the designer's work. In this way, the product of one's labor cannot be used by others without permission and unfair benefits are prevented.

Each year, a theme is determined by WIPO and for 2019, the issue of Intellectual Property Rights in sports has been chosen. Federations, managers, athletes, uniforms, sports equipment, sponsors, and Intellectual property rights to support  the interests of fans in the sports world contribute to this sector.

For example, nowadays football clubs and fans are very committed to each other. Designing of the jerseys purchased by the fans to support the clubs, the names of the sponsors on the jerseys or the brands of football boots worn by the players are items that are subject to intellectual property. For example, Fenerbahçe Sports Club sold 226 thousand 358 jerseys in the period of 2018-2019, and as a result, the club gained profits from advertisements on the fronts of the jerseys, from official betting companies, from stadium advertisements and sponsors. As a result, companies in different sectors use the sports sector to promote their products.

Intellectual property rights promote creativity in many different fields including sports, create new business opportunities and employment opportunities, and provide important opportunities for the social, cultural and economic development of nations.

Happy April 26 Intellectual Property Day and Patent Week.