David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire with IP Ambassadors Arthur Blick and Charlotte Mudoola

The Ugandan sports fraternity joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 2019 World Intellectual Property (IP) Day.

The main celebrations were held at Kabira Country Club in Bukoto, Kampala on Friday, April 26, 2019.

Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire was the chief guest at the event whose theme was ‘Going for Gold: IP and Sport’.

The morning event involved a brain storming session at Palm hall where the two IP brand ambassadors Arthur Blick (motor sport) and rugby ace Charlotte Mudoola were also officially unveiled.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Charlotte Mudoola (left) and Arthur Blick autograph a ball during the workshop at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto

Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Twebaze Bemanya called for collective effort from all stake holders to fight counterfeits in sports industry.

There is a need to advance fair play by fighting counterfeits and piracy in the sports industry as a means to protect its unique appeal. To put it into context, counterfeiting is the unauthorized appropriation of a variety of different types of IP rights. Sports activities unite everyone and we call upon all sports companies to join us in fighting counterfeits. It can be in videos, merchandise, photos and many more areas around sports. Sports today has become a multi-billion dollar global industry which needs business relationships built on IP rights to help secure the economic value of sports.

Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Twebaze Bemanya
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports
Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Twebaze Bemanya

Let us embrace Intellectual Property. There is a need for the sensitization of the athletes about their rights. There is life after active sport and IP is one of the ways to help the athletes prepare.

Shadia Nakamanya, Legal officer at the National Council of Sports
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Shadia Nakamanya, Legal officer National Council of Sports

Some of the challenges with Intellectual Property in Uganda is that the current I.P laws do not protect sports federation in media broadcast infringements, protection of event marks and merchandising. At FUFA, we have the registered FUFA Logo, FUFA Slogan, Uganda Cranes, FUFA anthem that have helped generate revenue for us.

Denis Lukambi, FUFA Legal Officer
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Denis Lukambi, FUFA Legal officer

Brand owners are encouraged to monitor their brand products because there is a challenge of counterfeiting. Advertising is big business in sports

Mercy Kainobwisho, IP Director at Uganda Registration Services Bureau
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Group photo of delegates with the chief guest Kahinda Otafiire

For starters, Intellectual Property is a creation of the mind.

It is recognized in the form of patents, utility models, trademarks, designs, copy right, trade secrets.

Intellectual creations have become part of sports. Sports shows intellectual property in action. It is a business tool to the sports industry. Many entities including sports entities dwells a lot on innovations.

Uganda Athletics Federation president Dominic Otuchet, Uganda Premier League clubs Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Express and Sports Club Villa also attended the workshop that ended with a sports gala.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Otafiir inspects the KCCA FC Stalls

IP use in sports:

  • Presents huge commercial opportunities in the area of sports.
  • Stimulates growth of the sports industry
  • Enable business transactions
  • Improved safety in sports through fabric technology, availability of fire resistant clothing.
  • Brings more business opportunities in sports industry.
  • IP touches every of the society and there is increasing realization that IP can facilitate growth, productivity and prosperity
  • The brand value results of sports activities, players and clubs. Brand advertisements, brand ambassadors, goodwill and reputation of sponsors. Copyright issues in sports to protect any literary, artistic and scientific works used in events. Such works are music, computer programs electronic data bases, photographs to generate revenues for broadcasters for broadcasting sports events. Patent rights, image (personality) rights in sports.

Challenges:

  • Counterfeiting
  • Digital piracy especially for live sports
  • Cybersquatting
  • Typosquatting
  • Ambush marketing
  • Lack of protection of IP in sports

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