Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público "Dr. Humberto J. La Roche"
de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad del Zulia
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Esta publicación cientíca en formato digital es continuidad de la revista impresa
ISSN-Versión Impresa 0798-1406 / ISSN-Versión on line 2542-3185Depósito legal pp
197402ZU34
ppi 201502ZU4645
Vol.39 N° 69
Julio
Diciembre
2021
Recibido el 26/03/2021 Aceptado el 24/06/2021
ISSN 0798- 1406 ~ De si to le gal pp 198502ZU132
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de Es tu dios Po lí ti cos y De re cho Pú bli co “Dr. Hum ber to J. La Ro che” (IEPDP) de la Fa-
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cul tad de Cien cias Ju rí di cas y Po lí ti cas. Ins ti tu to de Es tu dios Po lí ti cos y De re cho Pú bli co
“Dr. Hum ber to J. La Ro che”. Ma ra cai bo, Ve ne zue la. E- mail: cues tio nes po li ti cas@gmail.
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Vol. 39, Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre) 2021, 530-546
IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas - LUZ
Intellectual property law in the eld of
sports: specics of manifestations and
features of legal regulation
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46398/cuestpol.3969.33
Evgen Kharytonov *
Olena Kharytonova **
Maxym Tkalych ***
Inna Bolokan ****
Hanna Samilo *****
Yuliia Tolmachevska ******
Abstract
The article aims to explore the relationships that arise with
respect to intellectual property rights in sports. The objectives of
the article are to establish points of contact between intellectual
property law and sports, as well as a detailed analysis of relevant
public relations in terms of intellectual property law and sports
law. To achieve the objectives of the article, the authors used a number of
scientic methods, among which the main methods are analysis, synthesis
and comparative-legal method. The authors of the study concluded that
modern sport is developing in close intertwining with intellectual property
rights, because only in this way can a sports spectacle be conveyed to a wide
range of spectators and consumers in a broad sense. In addition, the range of
points of contact between intellectual property and sports law is constantly
growing and such can now be called not only patents and trademarks in
sports, but also copyright, “image” rights, know-how in sports and the like.
* Doctor of Legal Science. Professor of Civil Law Department and Head of same Department at National
University “Odesa Law Academy”, Odesa, Ukraine. Corresponding Member of National Academy of
Law Sciences of Ukraine. Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine. ORCID ID: https://
orcid.org/0000-0001-5521-0839. Email: zharuton@gmail.com
** Doctor of Legal Science, Professor of Intellectual Property and Corporate Law Department and Head of
same Department at National University “Odesa Law Academy”. Corresponding Member of National
Academy of Law Sciences of Ukraine. Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine. ORCID ID:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9681-9605. Email: lh2512@gmail.com
*** Ph. D., Associate Professor of Civil Law Department of Zaporizhzhia National University, Zaporizhzhia,
Ukraine. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4224-7231. Email: maxx.tkalich@gmail.com
**** Doctor of Legal Science, Associate Professor of Civil Law Department of Zaporizhzhia National
University (Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine). ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1868-7552. Email:
innabolokani@gmail.com
***** Ph. D., Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional, administrative, and labor law at
Zaporizhzhia Polytechnic National University, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. ORCID ID: https://orcid.
org/0000-0001-9493-8013. Email: Samiloann2gmail.com
****** Ph.D. candidate of Civil Law Department at National University “Odesa Law Academy”, Odesa,
Ukraine. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7964-8875. Email: Yuliiatolmachevska7@gmail.
com
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CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 530-546
Keywords: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization),
Intellectual Property, Trademark, Design, Image Rights.
Derecho de propiedad intelectual en el campo de los
deportes: detalles de las manifestaciones y características
de la regulación legal
Resumen
Este artículo tiene como objetivo explorar las relaciones que surgen con
respecto a los derechos de propiedad intelectual en el ámbito del deporte.
En particular, los objetivos del artículo son establecer puntos de contacto
entre el derecho de propiedad intelectual y el deporte, así como propiciar
un análisis detallado de las relaciones públicas relevantes en términos
de derecho de propiedad intelectual y derecho deportivo. Para lograr los
objetivos del artículo, los autores utilizaron una serie de métodos cientícos,
entre los cuales los métodos principales son el análisis, la síntesis y el método
de derecho comparado. Los atores concluyeron que el deporte moderno
se está desarrollando en estrecha relación con los derechos de propiedad
intelectual, porque solo de esta manera se puede transmitir un espectáculo
deportivo a una amplia gama de espectadores y consumidores en un
sentido amplio. Además, la gama de puntos de contacto entre la propiedad
intelectual y el derecho deportivo está en constante crecimiento y ahora
pueden llamarse no solo patentes y marcas comerciales en los deportes,
sino también, derechos de autor, derechos de «imagen», conocimientos
técnicos en los deportes y similares.
Palabras clave: OMPI (Organización Mundial de la Propiedad
Intelectual); propiedad intelectual; marca registrada;
diseño; derechos de imagen.
Introduction
“Intellectual property rights underlie and empower the nancial model of all
sporting events worldwide. IP rights lie at the heart of the global sports ecosystem
and all the commercial relationships that make sports happen and that allow us
to tune in to sporting action whenever, wherever, and however we want” (WIPO,
2020: s/p.
These words were said by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry for
World Intellectual Property Day 2019 – Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.
This quote surprisingly successfully reveals the role of intellectual property
532
Evgen Kharytonov, Olena Kharytonova, Maxym Tkalych, Inna Bolokan, Hanna Samilo y Yuliia
Tolmachevska
Intellectual property law in the eld of sports: specics of manifestations and features of legal
regulation
rights in the development of modern sports, the main feature of which is
commercialization. Accordingly, modern sport is a spectacle, and it is the
institution of intellectual property law that acts as a kind of link between a
sports spectacle and its consumers.
In the context of the above said, the issues of legal regulation of relations
related to the protection of intellectual property rights in sports are of great
scientic and practical interest. In fact, the study of the peculiarities of the
legal regulation of these relations is the main purpose of this article.
As social relations in the eld of sports became more complicated, there
was an increasing need for their proper legal regulation (Kharytonov et al.,
2021). Ukrainian legislation provides for the state to care for the development
of physical culture and sports (Bolokan et al., 2021). Modern sport needs
private legal mechanisms of regulation, because they provide the best
way to protect the rights of individuals and legal entities – participants in
relations in the eld of sports (Tkalych et al., 2020). At the same time, both
national and transnational legal systems and the “sports law and order” are
gradually improving the legal and quasi-legal mechanisms of the regulation
(Kolomoiets et al., 2021).
In addition, considering the concept of this article, the authors aimed to
propose an adequate model of legal and quasi-legal regulation of relations
arising in relation to intellectual property in sports. After all, relations in
the eld of sports have their own specics, respectively, such relations
cannot always be qualitatively regulated by general legal norms. In this
case, it is necessary to adopt special regulations that would contain legal
norms adapted to the specics of the relevant area of legal regulation, in
this case – the eld of sports.
1. Methodology of the study
To achieve the objectives of the article, the authors used several scientic
methods, among which the main methods are analysis, synthesis, and
comparative-legal method.
Firstly, it should be noted that, the method of analysis was used to
study the current national and foreign legislation in the eld of intellectual
property and sports.
Additionally, it is worth mentioned that the method of synthesis, in
turn, allowed us to identify the main trends in the development of social
relations, which are formed at the junction of intellectual property rights
and sports.
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CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 530-546
Finally, using the comparative-legal method, respectively, the norms of
the legislation in the eld of sports and intellectual property were analyzed
and possible ways of its improvement were suggested.
2. Analysis of recent research
About research on intellectual property rights in the eld of sports,
it should be noted that traditionally the greatest attention is paid to the
problems of the sports brand. Therefore, even a sports brand is not enough
researched topic in jurisprudence. The question of dening the concept
brand, its components, as well as the features of providing legal protection
to structural components as part of a single object of intellectual property
is considered in the works of Androschuk (2008; 2011a; 2011b); Kodynets
(2006); Kulinich (2016); Rassomakhina (2008); Romanadze (2008);
Sadovnyk (2015), and Pihurets (2005).
Among foreign authors, the subject of problems of protection of
intellectual property rights in sports was dealt with Anderson (2017) and
Sharma (2017); as well as dierent organizations, for example, Sandvine
(2017) and Nielsen (2016).
Kharytonova (2018) examines the objects of intellectual property rights,
noting that, as in any activity where there is an element of creativity, in the
eld of sports there are intellectual property rights to various objects: the
right to a name, the right to a brand, a logo, etc.
Recent research has covered specic intellectual property rights, such as
image rights in sport. The right to use the name of a celebrity, his/her image,
manner, recognizability, reputation today is classied as image rights.
The most complete and detailed study of the rights of an individual to his
own image (including in the eld of sports) is the monograph of Kulinich
(2016) “The right of an individual to his own image: the current state and
prospects for development”. However, separately the problem of using the
image of the athlete and the type of such use is still little studied. The issues
of protection of intellectual property rights in the eld of sports are not
better researched and covered in the scientic literature. Even a cursory
review of the achievements in the eld of protection of intellectual property
rights in the eld of sports shows the practical complete absence of relevant
research. Therefore, clarifying the concept of sports and intellectual
property rights related to it is appropriate and very relevant.
534
Evgen Kharytonov, Olena Kharytonova, Maxym Tkalych, Inna Bolokan, Hanna Samilo y Yuliia
Tolmachevska
Intellectual property law in the eld of sports: specics of manifestations and features of legal
regulation
3. Results and discussion
It is rst necessary to determine which objects of intellectual property
rights are inherent in the eld of sports, and what is the mechanism of legal
regulation of public relations arising in connection with such objects.
Up until the 1960s, running shoes featured at soles. The University
of Oregon’s running coach Bill Bowerman took on the task to improve
traction and shock absorption in training shoes. He experimented by
using his wife’s wae maker to mold rubber spikes on the soles and
created a superior running shoe he named the Wae Trainer. The design
revolutionized the sneaker industry. Bowerman and one of his students,
Phil Knight, founded Blue Ribbon Sports, which eventually became Nike.
Today, Nike has obtained thousands of patents worldwide and now
has a patent portfolio that rivals that of many leading companies in the
pharmaceutical, automotive, and defense sectors, all traditionally research
and development- and technology-intensive industries (Low, 2016).
This example clearly demonstrates the rst direction of interaction
between intellectual property rights and sports, which is the legal design
and protection of rights to inventions, utility models and industrial designs
(Design). Relevant public relations belong to the subject of legal regulation
of patent law as a sub-institution of intellectual property law.
To fully understand the scope of patenting in sports, it is necessary to
provide statistics. So, as can be seen from Table 1, hundreds of thousands
of patents are in force in sports, which is commensurate with traditional
sectors of the world economy.
Table 1. The number of patents is in force in sports (Global Innovation
Policy Centre, 2020).
Kitesurng 14,224
Hockey 17,668
Polo 19,793
Soccer 28,779
Boxing 32,694
Baseball 44,468
Tennis 52,526
Skiing 110,501
Golf 112,256
535
CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 530-546
Branding also plays an essential role in creating value, interest, and
vitality in sports. It drives consumer loyalty and condence in the quality
and features of sporting goods. It also generates allegiance to sports
teams and sportswear styles. Trademarks work dierently for goods and
for services in the sports sector depending on the product or asset being
protected, but the common denominator is the distinctiveness of the mark.
Importantly, trademarks provide protection against confusion about the
source of a given product.
A trademark is a designation or any combination of designations that
are suitable for distinguishing goods (services) produced (provided) by one
person from goods (services) produced (provided) by other persons. These
can be, for example: words, letters, numbers, pictorial elements, color
combinations (Law 435-IV, 2003).
Depending on the form of expression, verbal, pictorial, three-
dimensional, combined symbols, etc. are distinguished. Verbal symbols can
be words, including proper names, combinations of letters, combinations
of words, etc. Graphical execution of verbal symbols can be done using a
regular or original font. Pictorial symbols include graphic compositions of
any shape on the plane: drawings, symbols, etc.
Famous individuals famous athletes, cause increased public attention,
encourage the purchase of souvenirs with their image, goods or products
that they advertise. Photographs decorate various everyday objects, clothes,
utensils, illustrate texts in online publications, print media, advertising
products (Subota and Nechiporenko, 2006).
The image of a famous athlete can also be used in the appearance of goods
and packaging. Unauthorized imaging is prohibited by law. For example,
in Australia, the image on a T-shirt without the permission of the name
and image of surfer Terry Fitzgerald, led to a lawsuit for infringement of
intellectual property rights of the athlete. The court ruled that the company
would refrain from reproducing or granting permission to reproduce
all or any part of the surfer’s photograph, awarding damages and costs
for violating the right to insult. Using a photo of a famous person can be
misleading, for example, when it gives the impression that the person in
the photo approves of your product, if in fact they do not (Kravets, 2000).
Thus, in particular, in the EU jurisdiction the most famous is the case
of Irvine v. Talksport Ltd (England and Wales Court of Appeal, 2003). The
radio station bought the rights to the photo with Formula I driver Eddie
Irvine, edited the photo a bit (replacing the mobile phone with a radio) and
released an advertising poster. The plainti believed that the poster created
in the audience a false impression of his approval of the defendant’s brand.
The appeal agreed with the plainti and recovered from the radio station
damages in the amount of £ 25,000.
536
Evgen Kharytonov, Olena Kharytonova, Maxym Tkalych, Inna Bolokan, Hanna Samilo y Yuliia
Tolmachevska
Intellectual property law in the eld of sports: specics of manifestations and features of legal
regulation
It should be noted that today the market of well-known names of sports
clubs (brands) has actually been formed. The names of sports arenas are
for sale. The rst classic sale of the name of the sports arena is considered
to be the agreement between the New England Patriots (American football)
team in 1971: the new stadium in Foxboro was named after the beer brand
Schaefer. The advertiser then paid $ 150,000 for a 10-year contract. In the
early 1990s, the business developed rapidly, spreading to Japan, Australia,
and the United Kingdom.
Companies are willing to pay for naming because they are actually buying
a place on the city map and attracting not only fans but also a potentially
much larger audience, insuring themselves against price changes, booking
a place that is attractive for a long time. This phenomenon is called sports
naming (Vasiliev and Shamonaev, 2012).
Most often, the colors of the uniforms of national teams repeat the colors
of national ags. So professional sport is aimed to unite the nation under
the auspices of national symbols, to create a sense of unity with the people.
Fans of sports clubs or national teams wear clothes with the colors of the
appropriate accessories, decorate themselves with national symbols, paint
their faces in the colors of national ags. The combination of colors of the
club sports uniform, its specic design, is an important element of visual
distinction, which allows an outside observer to immediately distinguish
one club from another (Galkin, 2011).
Thus, club colors create a stable associative connection between fans
and a football or other sports club.
For example, the information of Prague’s Slavia, which was addressed
to the club’s fans, is indicative in this sense. The club posted information
on its ocial website for fans (who were going to support their team in
the return match of the third qualifying round of the Champions League
against Dynamo (Kyiv), which would take place on August 14, 2020 in
Kyiv), in which they oered fans to avoid possible provocations, to exclude
the appearance in the capital of Ukraine in club clothes and with the ocial
symbols of “Slavia”, including scarves and ags.
This is due to the similarity of the club colors of Prague with the symbols
of the Moscow “Spartak”, because the Czech clu