On 26 April every year, intellectual property (IP) is in the spotlight worldwide. It's "World IP Day". This year's theme is sport.
Whether you are a sporty entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial sportsperson:
You score with IP!
With IP, you can really get ahead of the game!
IP stands for intellectual property. It is the umbrella term for various types of legal rights to ideas that have been put into practice and creative concepts, for instance designs, inventions, music, brands, software, games, texts and photos. You have to register to acquire some types of rights, for instance a patent or trademark, others are yours automatically, for instance copyright.
By applying for the IP rights to an idea that you have developed or to an imaginative concept, you can protect your creations. If you can show that you have the exclusive right to your creation, you can stop others from freeloading on your success. Alternatively, you can sell or license out your intellectual property rights for use by others.
That's how you score with IP!
What does cycle racing have to do with intellectual property?
Cycling as a sport is a phenomenal success thanks to all those athletes who work up a sweat to give a top performance time and again. Cycling today is also characterised by innovation and creativity.
Did you know, for example, that there are at least ten patents for mini-motors concealed in bike frames? Or that 'Rapha', an apparel brand popular with cyclists, is a protected trademark in the EU? Cycling is such a boom today not least due to smart cycling entrepreneurs protecting their intellectual property.
Well, everything actually. Of course, professional footballers are paid for their performance on the pitch and in the sport, but did you realise that some of them also earn a good living monetising their own name? It works like this: if you register your name as a trademark, you can license it and so have others pay to use it for commercial purposes. Well-known professionals in this regard are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lieke Martens.
So, trademarks are big business in the sports world and they come in all shapes and sizes, but other intellectual property (IP) rights, like designs and patents, play a prominent role too.
What does Formula 1 have to do with intellectual property?
The speed fiends who pit themselves on the racetrack are household names. Everyone has their favourite. They have primarily earned their fame through their high-speed exploits, but capitalising on intellectual property (IP) rights is a major component of their success too. Did you know, for example, that Max Verstappen has registered his name as a trademark in the Benelux and EU?
Intellectual property is, of course, also key to technological innovation and creativity in the Formula 1 sector. Did you know, for instance, that more than 2,000 patents have been granted for steering wheel-based computer games?
What does dance have to do with intellectual property?
If there is one sport that is highly creative, it is dancing. Each choreographer devises his or her own routines.
A single dance move cannot be protected under copyright. The well-known 'Carlton dance' move is a case in point. However, you can certainly copyright a choreography as a whole and you can earn royalties from your copyright-protected work.
Other forms of intellectual property, such as trademarks and patents, have long since played a role in dance.