Sports & Intellectual Property: Challenges and Perspectives

Date: 1 Dec 2022 Time: 9.30 am – 10.30 am (Geneva Time) or 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm (Singapore Time) Venue: Zoom Registration:

Many of us would agree that sports itself, and not only sports equipment and apparels, is an industry. However, it plays more than a pure economical role for many countries. We can think of the pride a nation has when one of its athlete wins a medal at the Olympics. It has unifying and uplifting effects. There is also the health aspect to consider. This is the reason why countries build sports facilities and insurance companies work on incentives for their policy holders to join gyms.

Like all industries, there are many facets. The law applicable would reflect this. They range from employment law, doping and other regulations, associations, contract and intellectual property. From the monetization perspective, beyond the contracts defining what spectators and others can do in the stadium, intellectual property is the most important. This is why countries should consider intellectual property law as a tool to promote sports. Revenue helps sports organizations, profit and non-profit, to be sustainable.

We have the privilege of having Prof Jacques de Werra, the author of WIPOS’s “Reference Guide to Sustaining Sport and Its Development Through Intellectual Property Rights” to discuss with us the WIPO guide and the subject of sports & IP.

Link to the WIPO guide:
Link to the WIPO Sport & IP website:

Prof Jacque de Werra

Jacques de Werra is Professor of contract law and intellectual property (IP) law and Director of the Digital Law Center ( at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva. From 2015 until 2019, he was Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva in charge of leading the University’s digital strategy. He is a member of the MIDS Committee (Geneva Master of International Dispute Settlement,

Prof. de Werra has taught as visiting professor at leading universities including Harvard Law School (as Charles Hieken Visiting Professor in Patent Law for a course on international intellectual property transactions – winter term 2022 -), Stanford Law School, Paris II Panthéon-Assas, Nagoya University and City University of Hong Kong. He has practiced law (commercial law, IP law and arbitration) in Switzerland (Geneva and Zurich) at a major business law firm. He has an LL.M. from Columbia Law School and has been admitted to the New York bar (in addition to his admission to the Swiss bar).

An expert in IP law, technology & digital law and contract law and international commercial dispute resolution (arbitration), Prof de Werra is widely published. He has authored / edited many books of reference including the Research Handbook on Intellectual Property Licensing and The Law and Practice of Trademark Transactions (jointly with Prof. Irene Calboli). His articles are found in leading law journals, such as the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology.

George Hwang

George Hwang is an IP/IT and Media Lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. Besides his home country, Singapore, he has worked in many other countries. They include Hong Kong, England, Bulgaria, Belgium and the Bahamas.

Some of the cases which George has worked on include the landmark case of Dorsey v World Sports Group in the apex court of Singapore, where the court overturned the High Court’s decision directing the Defendant, a journalist to reveal his source for the applicant’s confidential information, and Lee Hsien Loong v Roy Ngerng, where a blogger was sued by Singapore Prime Minister for defamation.

George is also the Content Partner for LexisNexis’ Practical Guide for IP/IT – Corporate M&A and Finance. George has published chapters in books and law journals such as European Intellectual Property Review. He is current co-Chair of LESI’s Copyright Committee and a director of SingPop Music Ltd, a non-profit organization formed to develop and promote Singapore music. As a human rights advocate, George advised Singapore’s First Mass Petition to Parliament to Repeal s377A. This is a provision which criminalises sex between men. This year, the PM has announced that Singapore government will be abolishing this law.