Journal Article

Intellectual property protection and enforcement at major events: Practical lessons learnt from the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

Tim Golder and Wendy Burnett

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 2, issue 1, pages 19-22
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online December 2006 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Intellectual property protection and enforcement at major events: Practical lessons learnt from the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

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Legal context

Commercial sponsorship is a integral part of major sporting events. The ability to attract commercial sponsors relies not just on the attractiveness of the event. It depends also on whether the organisers can offer to prospective sponsors an intellectual property regime which gives sponsors the comfort that counterfeiters and ambush marketers are not able to obtain a “free ride” from an unauthorised association with the event. Prospective sponsors will be far less likely to pay rights for “exclusivity” in circumstances where there is no confidence that that exclusivity will be protected.

Key points

This article details the steps that were taken in relation to such issues for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, held in Melbourne, Australia. The matters addressed include not only trade mark registration and copyright assignments, but also special purpose legislation and practical strategies to ensure the effectiveness and community acceptance of the intellectual property enforcement regime.

Practical significance

Numerous suggestions are made in the article for the benefit of others who are looking to be involved in major sporting or other events where sponsorship and licensing are important and where counterfeits and ambush marketing therefore need to be addressed.

Keywords: The holding of an international sports event furnishes opportunities both for official sponsors and for their competitors to reach out to potential customers. Official sponsors are, however, anxious not merely to seek new custom but to protect their investment in the event.; The registration and enforcement of intellectual property rights is an obvious course for event organisers to take. This course depends for its efficacy on a variety of careful preparations, both legal and practical, for every eventuality. Securing special purpose legislation is particularly beneficial.; In this article, the task of the responsible organiser is depicted and explained. This task involves planning and commitment long in advance of the event itself; it also involves gaining the corporation of the media, councils, venue managers, volunteers and even participants.

Journal Article.  2488 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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