IPL rejects ambushers

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The Indian Premier League and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have issued a public advisory notice amid concerns surrounding the impact of 'ambush marketing' on the tournament.

The notice describes appropriate usage guidelines for third parties with respect to the BCCI–IPL's proprietary trademarks, tradenames and matchplay footage. The 2009 IPL is currently taking place in South Africa and the tournament's chairman and commissioner, Lalit Modi, has declared his determination to protect the rights of official partners. The frequently asked questions below aim to give an overview of why the BCCI–IPL considers it must protect its brand, what the BCCI–IPL's legal rights are, and what third parties should and should not do in relation to the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage. Why protect the IPL brand? Any event such as the IPL is made possible through the commercial participation of sponsors, partners and broadcasters that are each granted certain exclusive rights and privileges by the BCCI–IPL in exchange for their support. As a result, it is vital that the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage are protected and managed by the BCCI–IPL. If anyone could use the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage for free, or could create or suggest an association with the IPL, there would be no incentive for sponsors, partners and broadcasters to invest. The BCCIIPL must prevent unlicensed third parties from undertaking unauthorised activities that damage or dilute IPL sponsors', partners' and broadcasters' exclusive rights. Also, in order to maintain the integrity of the IPL brand and to protect against dilution and damage to its reputation and prestige, it is vital that the BCCI–IPL retains careful control of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage and their uses. What are the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage? All of the official names, phrases, trademarks, logos and designs related to the IPL are protected by the law in a variety of ways. The following are some of the current items that make up the IPL Names and IPL Marks:• The DLF–IPL logo;• The logos of each of the eight IPL franchises;• The words 'DLF Indian Premier League', 'Indian Premier League', 'IPLT20', 'DLFIPL' and 'IPL';• The names of each of the eight IPL franchises; and• www. iplt20. com. Also, still images and live or deferred footage of match play action constitute protected and proprietary IPL Footage. How are the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage protected? The IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage are legally protected by a variety of means, which include trade mark and design laws, copyright laws, telecommunications laws relating to signal theft, common law and the terms and conditions under which IPL match tickets are sold and accredited stadium entry is permitted. What uses are unlawful without a license from the BCCI–IPL? The unlicensed and unauthorised use of any of the IPL Names, IPL Marks (or any other marks or logos that are confusingly similar to, or likely to be mistaken for, them) or IPL Footage is strictly prohibited. For example, without license of the BCCI–IPL, it is unlawful to use the IPL Names and IPL Marks or to reproduce or distribute IPL Footage in the course of trade. These properties cannot be used on goods, in business names or in advertising or promotions without license from the BCCI–IPL or one of its authorised licensees that, in turn, has the rights to grant sub–licenses. It is also unlawful, through the use of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage, to falsely represent any association, affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship or similar relationship with the IPL or the BCCI–IPL. It is important to note that a formal association with any of the eight IPL franchises does not automatically grant a franchise partner or franchise sponsor the right to use the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage (other than the specific rights such franchise is authorised to license) without the prior authorisation of the BCCI–IPL. When can the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage be used? The IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage can be used with the express license and authorisation of the BCCI–IPL or its authorised licensees that have been granted the rights to grant sub–licenses. Such license and authorisation will only be given to official sponsors, partners, licensees and non–commercial partners. There are very few situations in which the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage can be used in commercial contexts without the BCCI–IPL's express written consent. The IPL Names, IPL Marks and, to a limited extent and subject to then current IPL Media Accreditation Guidelines, the IPL Footage may be used in editorial news pieces without the BCCI–IPL's prior authorization. In certain circumstances when reporting and providing information on the IPL, journalists are able to use the IPL Names and IPL Marks to illustrate their editorial feature. The BCCI–IPL's intention is not to restrict people from interacting with the IPL or providing or sharing information on the tournament, but, when they do so, all of the BCCI–IPL's legal rights must be respected at all times. The full notice is available on the IPL's official website, www. ipl20. com

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