Ambush marketing vs. official sponsorship: is the international I.P. an unfair competition regime a good referee?

Ambush marketing vs. official sponsorship: is the international I.P. an unfair competition regime a good referee?

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Diego Pardo Amézquita


Ambush marketing is a practice that will usually occurs in large-scale events, is not a sponsor seeks to gain benefits of brand exposure and awareness in a context that it would otherwise be available only to official sponsors. This paper addresses why and to what extend ambush marketing be contrasted, provided that it is a practice that current intellectual property and competition law has been unable to deter as well as an alternative measures are difficult to adopt at an international level. This difficulty jeopardizes official sponsoring’s interest on major events and the events themselves. As a result, this paper will (i) briefly examine the intersection between intellectual property rights and sport business in order to (ii) encase ambush marketing as a controversial –yet not necessarily illegal- business practice that exploits another’s commercial effort and deflects attention from official sponsorship of major events. It will then present (iii) the traditional and extraordinary legal responses to these practices, and the issues that they raise, to finally conclude that (iv) there is an urgent need to harmonize, at an international level, the legality –or not- of the matter, regardless of (v) the inherent ambush marketing paradoxes.

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Referencias (VER)

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