Protecting IP in Sports: Preventing Theft & Forgery

Protecting IP in Sports

Understanding the Importance of Intellectual Property

World Intellectual Property Day 2019: Emphasizing the Role of IP in Sports and Public Safety

Senator Thom Tillis, leading the Senate Legal Executive Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, articulated the committee’s intentions to delve into bolstering criminal penalties and opportunities for heightened intellectual property enforcement. This initiative aims to curtail counterfeiting and theft, as highlighted during the “World Intellectual Property Day 2019: The Role of Intellectual Property in Sports and Public Safety” conference.

The Significance of Strong IP Frameworks

The gathering, themed “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports,” underscored the indispensable role of robust intellectual property structures in fostering thriving global economies. Representatives from the sports industry and U.S. Congress members unanimously emphasized the necessity of stringent IP enforcement. Such measures are deemed critical in ensuring safety for consumers, fostering robust economies, and sustaining livelihoods in a productive workforce.

Leveraging Innovation to Tackle Challenges

The convergence of viewpoints among witnesses centered on devising strategies and leveraging innovation to combat the challenges posed by counterfeiting and piracy. The committee acknowledged the pivotal role of technology, particularly advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. These innovations hold promise in authentication and supply chain operations, offering potential solutions to counteract counterfeiting and security concerns.

Bipartisan Commitment for Consumer Protection

Senators Tillis and Chris Coons reaffirmed bipartisan dedication, expressing a commitment to collaborate with stakeholders. Their shared goal is to safeguard consumers and aid businesses in thwarting the proliferation of counterfeiting and theft.

Addressing Illicit Streaming and Consumer Safety

The discussion encompassed the impact of illegal streaming on sports revenues and public safety. The need to elevate illegal streaming to a felony offense, particularly for large-scale operations, was highlighted. Industry experts emphasized the urgency of facilitating lawful access to sports content while prioritizing consumer safety.

Risks Posed by Counterfeit Goods

Testimonies shed light on the dangers posed by counterfeit products, showcasing instances where fake items, like bike helmets, failed to provide adequate protection, potentially endangering consumers. Counterfeit goods not only compromise safety but also diminish brand reputation, raising concerns about consumer welfare.

Collaboration and Technology in Combating Counterfeits

Witnesses advocated for collaborative efforts within the supply chain to prevent the distribution of fake goods. Embracing technological advancements, especially blockchain initiatives, was highlighted as a promising approach to verify product authenticity and scrutinize supply chain processes.

The Need for Consumer Awareness and Support

Amidst the rise of online shopping, the speakers stressed the importance of consumer education about counterfeit products. They acknowledged the challenge consumers face in evaluating products online, emphasizing the need for enhanced consumer awareness.

Commitment to Address IP Challenges

This conference signifies one of many ongoing dialogues in Congress aimed at addressing critical intellectual property issues affecting consumers and the global economy. Senators Coons and Tillis reiterated their resolute commitment to collaborating with stakeholders. They aim to explore, develop, and implement measures to tackle the multifaceted challenges posed by counterfeiting and theft.