World Intellectual Property Day 2019 celebrates IP in sport on 26 April

As a sports loving nation, obviously many of us appreciate sport and what it means to people, the passions it raises and the positive impacts it has on communities in terms of fitness and the fostering of community spirit. I’m sure many of us have a team in one code or other whose fortunes (or otherwise) we follow week to week and season to season.

But if I was to pose the question “What is intellectual property, and why is it important to the world of sport?”, I guess that I could reasonably expect some blank looks. Intellectual Property (IP) is probably not the first thing we think about when discussing sport and yet IP and sport are intertwined in so many ways.

So, just “What is intellectual property?” In a nutshell IP refers to “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce”. IP is protected via various legal mechanisms such as patents, copyrights and trademarks, enabling creators to earn financial benefit and/ or recognition from their creations.

As to why this is important to the sports world, World Intellectual Property Day 2019 has all the answers! World Intellectual Property Day is observed every year on April 26 (The date the convention of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) came into effect in 1970). The World IP Day theme for 2019 is “Reach for Gold: IP and sports”.

We therefore celebrate World IP day to highlight the role that IP rights and protections play in encouraging innovation and creativity. Such protections touch and influence so many things in life that we all enjoy, protecting both the livelihood of the creator, and our enjoyment of the end product.

Devoting World IP 2019 to sport gives us a chance to explore how IP rights supports global sports infrastructure, bringing together stakeholders such as event organisers, athletes, teams, broadcasters and fans, sustaining the myriad commercial relationships driving the world of sport and giving us more choice in when, where and how we engage with our sporting interests.

So, let the celebrations commence, by shedding some light on the intricate ways in which IP intersects with the sporting world. Intellectual Property and Sports: Tracing the Connections is an informative article straight from WIPO, which tells the story of IP and its relationship to sport.

State Library of Queensland also plays its part in preserving the history and legacy of sporting achievement in Queensland. In celebrating World Intellectual Property Day 2019 we take the opportunity to share with you some of our sports themed digital collections. It is, of course, only through the management of these resources under the appropriate IP/copyright protocols, that we can share them with you today!

Please enjoy the digital stories in our online exhibition Our Sporting Greats, sharing the experiences of 5 unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander champions of the sporting world.

Also keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts in the week leading up to World Intellectual Property Day 2019 on April 26, as we share some of our historical photo sets, telling the story of sport in Queensland. Here is a taster of things to come, with the set “Sport and recreation.”

If you and your library would like to get involved and raise awareness in your community about IP, through its application to sports, check out the publicity materials towards the bottom of the World Intellectual Property Day 2019 homepage, or whip up your own #WorldIPDay social media storm with the World IP Day social media kit.

Why not put together a World IP Day display, using the resources above, and highlighting some gems from your sports collections? You can remind everyone that the library collections they enjoy so much, whether in book or electronic form, would not exist in such quality and quantity, without the IP protections we are celebrating on April 26.

For other ways to be involved, check out the World IP day FAQ’s page.