An International Survey by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reveals the top 10 priorities in choice of dispute resolution clauses, which include cost, time, enforceability, quality outcome, neutral forum, confidentiality among others. Over 70% of the respondents cited cost as the top priority in both international and domestic contracts followed by time and enforceability.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) aims to enable governments, businesses and individuals in all its 188 member states to realise the potential benefits of intellectual property (IP) as a driver of innovation and creativity. It is an intergovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland with 1,300 staff from 120 countries around the world. WIPO also has over 350 accredited observers who take part in WIPO activities. Currently WIPO administers 26 international treaties touching on every aspect of IP.
According to WIPO, there are several IP-related policy issues currently under debate at the international level such as: patents and public health, trade marks and public health, appellations of origin and geographical indications (Lisbon issues), IP and development and traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources.
This month, the above image by the Coca Cola Company caught my attention especially since it is not easily ascertainable whether the professional sportspersons pictured have authorised the commercial exploitation of their image rights. The persona and image of a celebrity is a valuable commercial commodity and should be protected from dissemination and misappropriation without authorization. The term “image rights” means the inherent right of every human being to control the commercial value of their image, likeness, persona, or identity. This “right of publicity” was first recognized in the United States about sixty two years ago. Celebrities such as professional sportspersons generate the most economic value from this right. The right of publicity is violated when one appropriates someone else’s name or likeness for the purpose of economic benefit without his or her consent.
Earlier this year, this blogger reported here this ruling: In the Matter of Trade Mark No. KE/T/2010/67586 “KENYA BOYS CHOIR” (WORDS) in Classes 16 and 41 in the Name of Joseph Muyale Inzai and Expungement Proceedings Thereto by Kenyan Boys Choir by the Assistant Registrar of Trade Marks at the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).
In this case, one Joseph Muyale Inzai filed an application to register his trade mark “KENYA BOYS CHOIR” (WORDS) before the Registrar of Trade Marks in classes 16 and 41 of the Nice Classification. The mark was approved, published and thereafter entered in the Register of Trade Marks in 2010.