Sport and intellectual property – the year in review 2020/21

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Monday, 26 July 2021 By Nicholas Buckland, Alex Kelham, Annabel Lindsay, Elyssia White, Anna Caruso, Chris Rycroft

From a major international IP piracy dispute over sports broadcasts with a geopolitical undercurrent to trade mark spats arising over opportunistic registrations, the last year or so has had it all. The right for athletes to exploit their image has also remained a hot topic with rapid changes in the US relating to college athletes, and changes in the position for Olympians. We’ve selected the most important, interesting and (at times) amusing IP, data and advertising law developments over the last year and looked at what lies ahead in the next 12 months.

This article considers:

  1. The introduction of legislation in various states of legislation giving name, image and likeness rights to student-athletes, and the NCAA’s response.
  2. Prominent trade mark disputes over the course of the past year, including the Messi case, Panini vs Jurgen Klinsman, and the ESL;
  3. Ambush marketing legislation in Italy
  4. IP issues arising from the postponement of Tokyo 2020.
  5. Piracy update (BeIn Sports and Matchroom boxing).
  6. Racing Partnership vs Sports Information Services case
  7. Piracy update - from Geneva to the Gallowgate End, via Saudi Arabia
  8. The Racing Partnership v Sports Information Services Part II – Totes unlawful, but not a breach of confidence

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Nicholas Buckland

Nicholas is a Managing Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at Lewis Silkin, specialising in Intellectual Property disputes.

 
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Alex Kelham

Alex Kelham

Alex is the Head of Lewis Silkin’s Sport Business Group. Her work focuses on advising entities across the sports sector on a wide range of predominantly commercial and IP issues.

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Annabel Lindsay

Annabel is a Trainee Solicitor at Lewis Silkin, having started her training contract in September 2020.

 
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Elyssia White

Elyssia is a dispute resolution associate at Lewis Silkin, specialising in intellectual property disputes. She is also a member of the firm's Sports Business and Media & Entertainment sector groups.

 
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Anna Caruso

Anna is an intellectual property and commercial Associate at Lewis Silkin. Prior to joining Lewis Silkin, Anna undertook a LLM in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary University and later completed her training as a solicitor at a leading global law firm.

 
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Chris Rycroft

Chris Rycroft

Chris works as a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin, helping to ensure that the lawyers keep right up to date with the latest legal and industry developments.

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