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

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 would like to be involved in spreading the IP message on #WorldIPDay 2019, check out the World IP day FAQ’s page for ways in which you or organisations in your community can get involved.