Intellectual property issues

As a sports professional, your name and image are important and commercially valuable assets, provided they are protected in a way that allows you to benefit from them rather than other parties.

Protecting your image and name – your intellectual property (IP) – allows you to control their use to your advantage.

For example, by trade marking your name you can protect it from exploitation through people using it to lead others into believing goods or services are connected with you, a process known as passing off.

Mackrell’s intellectual property specialists can provide expert advice on trade mark registrations and applications to register marks in the UK and EU marks. We can also assist with trade mark renewals and passing off issues.

Many sports men and women use their image rights to generate additional income through use in commercial activities. HM Revenue & Customs has challenged image rights arrangements in the past and we can provide expert legal advice, in association with other professional advisers, to structure image rights companies in the most constructive and compliant way.

Licensing allows you to generate income by permitting others to use your intellectual property – for example by manufacturing and selling products bearing your name and image – while keeping it under your control.

Licensing agreements can also allow the licensee to trade your intellectual properties in a way that you might not have the capacity, or inclination, to do so for yourself.

We can assist with tailoring licensing agreements to your specific requirements about the way the licensee can use your intellectual property, for example how long the licence will last and what the licensee cannot do with your IP as well as what they can.

For more information on our London intellectual property legal services for sporting professionals, please contact us.