ESPORTS AND INTELECTUAL PROPERTY
May/19/2020

ESPORTS AND INTELECTUAL PROPERTY

ESports or Electronic Sports have become a multimillion-dollar and borderless industry with enormous growth forecasts around the globe, particularly for the Mexico. 

 As any other new industry, there are several legal aspects that are worth considering; such as the interactions between the industry and intellectual property law, labor law, corporate and business law, privacy and data protection matters, among many others. 

Therefore, many legal challenges arise that are worth considering. 

Video games and videogame ownership   

Unlike traditional sports - where no one can own the sport itself – publishers or developers own the intellectual property rights derived from their respective video games. 

Video games are made up of a complex and extensive amount of content, such as the characters, graphics and animations, coding and –sometimes - specialized hardware for games that bring users closer to increasingly realistic experiences (Booths, VR headsets, etc.). 

There is also content made by third parties, such as skins or cosmetic-aesthetic content that affects each character’s appearance. 

Each and every one of these elements can and should be protected; whether trademarks, patents and copyright protection.  

Who is part of the “Game”?  

The ESports industry involves at least the following players: 

  • Video games developers and publishers; 
  • Tournament and competition promoters; 
  • Professional teams; 
  • Players leagues; 
  • Independent professional players; 
  • Content creators (streaming or prerecording). 

For the amount of content involved, as well as the number of interested parties -who can have similar or contrary interest- this industry generates a particularly complicated dynamic in the field of intellectual property for the protection and licensing of their rights.  

Marketing. Sponsors, Agents and Merchandising. Professional players, professional teams, and content producers generate revenue through sponsorships and merchandizing sales, taking advantage of the audience they generate. 

Video game developers also generate revenue by exploiting their industrial property rights; either through the sale of merchandizing or by licensing their trademarks and copyrights for different products. 

All these revenue streams must comply with intellectual property and consumer protection law in Mexico, in order to properly protect their income and interests. 

Our team of lawyers specialized in Intellectual Property law is at your service for any advice on this and other topics of interest. 

For more information, please contact us. 

Contact: 

Darío Cosío, Jr Associate 

dario.cosio@vila.com.mx 

Elías Rios, Partner

 rios.elias@vila.com.mx

 

Article by: 

Darío Cosío, Jr Associate 

Edition: 

César Peña Rodríguez 

CMO and Costumer Value 

comunicacion@vila.com.mx