Indian Premier League-Intellectual property League?

IPL stands for Indian Premier League and this is a Twenty20 Cricket Competition controlled and created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which is also the richest cricket board in the world. The popularity of IPL has been massive across all cricket loving nations and the shift of the event to India again has enabled the sport to earn more media and world attention. One can judge the popularity of the game and the sensation it created from the possible conditions that big business players like Sahara India Group is now the owner of IPL-Pune and great controversies mushrooming up.
The UK-based brand consultancy, Brand Finance, has valued the IPL at $4.13 billion in 2010. It was valued at U$2.01 billion in 2009 by the same consultancy.


Third great season of IPL on the roll! Such events are made possible through the commercial participation of sponsors, partners and broadcasters. Each one is granted exclusive rights and privileges by the IPL and thus other unlicensed third parties should be prevented from undertaking unauthorized activities that damage or dilute IPL sponsors’, partners’ and broadcasters’ exclusive rights. As a result, it is vital that the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage are protected and managed by the 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 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 “Indian Premier League©,” “IPLTM,” “DLF Indian Premier League”, and “DLF-IPL” and variants thereof ;
  • The names of each of the eight IPL franchises; and

Also, still images and live or deferred footage of match play action constitute protected and proprietary IPL Footage.
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.


The IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage can be used with the license and authorisation of the IPL or its authorised licensees that have been granted the rights to issue 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 IPL’s explicit license and consent permissible commercial behavior can be in various forms-

Public Screenings:The IPL retains all rights to license commercial screenings of IPL Footage made available to members of the public or displayed in public places. Prohibited acts includes unlicensed display of IPL Footage in movie theaters, the sale of tickets or levying of a cover charge for entry to a location screening IPL footage or IPL themed screening events that use the IPL Names, IPL MarksorIPL Footage.

How much BCCI will earn?
The bidders pay only 10 per cent of the price they offered to buy each team, which means Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group needs to pay a little over Rs36 crore for the first year, with similar amounts for the next 10 years. * Of the total Rs 289.4 crore bid amount for the eight teams, the board will get about Rs289.4 crore each year. The Board also earns money raised from the sale of TV rights (Rs 4,000 crore put up by Sony and World Sports Group). That amount is also to be paid over 10 years.How do the franchisees make money:
Of the amount raised as TV rights each year, approximately 60 percent is distributed among the eight franchise owners as their income from TV rights.The franchisee also gets gate collection money; can raise further revenue from logos on T-shirts, merchandising and other promotions.

Advertisements, promotions and events:
Advertisement features stating or suggesting an association between a brand, product, service or event and the IPL by using IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage are impermissible

That provide information about the IPL and are being operated on a purely non-commercial basis for example, a supporters’ site used to provide information about players participating in the IPL, or a chat forum about the IPL are unlikely to infringe the IPL’s rights. However, the creation of IPL specific communities that use IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage and solicit and raise sponsorships and advertising constitutes.
Tickets and Hospitality Packages:
Tickets to IPL matches are sold under specific conditions. Primarily, these may be purchased through officially appointed ticketing agents for personal use. IPL tickets may not be used for promotion or as prizes in contests. The right to run ticket promotions is reserved for IPL sponsors and partners and is strictly prohibited by the tickets’ terms and conditions.
Further, IPL tickets may not be resold for a profit or as part of hospitality packages by unlicensed travel agents or other entities. Commercial use of IPL intellectual property and are impermissible.

Business Names:
Adopting business or trading names that include IPL Names and using business logos that include IPL Marks or confusingly similar

Editorial uses, Newsletters:

Purely editorial use of IPL Names and IPL Marks for conveying information is a permissible use. 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 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 However, this journalistic use exception with respect to IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Footage does not apply to the production and distribution of newsletters, client bulletins or other marketing collateral produced in the guise of journalism, which state or suggest an official association between a product, service or event and the IPL a sports, entertainment and media management company hired by IPL, IMG, conducted workshops this year forLtd which owns Chennai Super Kings. All this was well thought of by IPL in advance. At the workshop, we were told to keep all our contracts watertight besides going through guidelines relating to IP issues.”Singh adds, “IPL guidelines have been put in place and we are using them as a blueprint but each team is left to what more it can do.


While the IPL expects compliance with the above, it is prepared to take legal action, as appropriate, in the case of each infringement and violation. This could include an injunction to stop the infringing activity, a suit for damages or compensation or an enforced accounting of profits by the infringer to the IPL. Both civil and criminal remedies are available in the case of intellectual property violations, signal theft and other violations of the IPL’s rights. Though there are no court cases yet in any Indian courts, going ahead, a “potential for litigation” relating to trademark infringement, ambush marketing and telecasting rights by IPL and the teams may arise.



Since its inception in 2003, Twenty 20 has revolutionized the form of cricket and business too. To carry out brand valuation MTI consulting, the management consultancy and Intangible Business, the leading international brand valuation specialist has joined hands together for the first time. Which of the IPL brand will rise to the value of Manchester United or Real Madrid is the new race? Unlike brands that have grown over time like Coca-Cola, here the brands have seen an exponential growth (in popularity) in a year. Significant sums are flowing into IPL to capture all emotions of cricket fans around the world and to develop strong club culture modeled on the success of the world’s most popular sports brands. Winner will change every year, performance will fluctuate, new players will roll in, some will retire with time but the brand will be constantly binding the fan club driving the long-term commercial sustainability and success of the IPL franchises.

Television rights and sponsorships

The IPL is predicted to bring the BCCI income of approximately US$1.6 billion, over a period of five to ten years. All of these revenues are directed to a central pool, 40% of which will go to IPL itself, 54% to franchisees and 6% as prize money. The money will be distributed in these proportions until 2017, after which the share of IPL will be 50%, franchisees 45% and prize money 5%. The IPL signed up Kingfisher Airlines as the official umpire partner for the series in a Rs. 106 crore (15 million) deal. This deal sees the Kingfisher Airlines brand on all umpires’ uniforms and also on the giant screens during third umpire decisions.

Television rights

On 15 January 2008 it was announced that a consortium consisting of India’s Sony Entertainment Television network and Singapore-based World Sport Group secured the global broadcasting rights of the Indian Premier League. The record deal as a duration of ten years at a cost of US $1.026 billion. As part of the deal, the consortium will pay the BCCI US $918 million for the television broadcast rights and US $108 million for the promotion of the tournament. This deal was challenged in the Bombay High Court by IPL, and got the ruling on its side. After losing the battle in court, Sony Entertainment Television signed a new contract with BCCI with Sony Entertainment Television paying a staggering Rs. 8700 crores (87 billion) for 10 years. One of the reasons for payment of this huge amount is seen as the money required to subsidize IPL’s move to South Africa which will be substantially more than the previous IPL. IPL had agreed to subsidize the difference in operating cost between India and South Africa as it decided to move to the African nation after the security concerns raised because of its coincidence with India’s general elections.


Official IPL Mobile ApplicationsDCI Mobile Studios (A division of Dot Com Infoway Limited), in conjunction with Sigma Ventures of Singapore, have jointly acquired the rights to be the exclusive Mobile Application partner and rights holder for the Indian Premier League cricket matches worldwide for the next 8 years (including the 2017 season). Recently, they have released the IPL T20 Mobile applications for iPhone, Nokia Smartphones and Blackberry devices . Soon it will be made available across all other major Mobile platforms including the Android, Windows Mobile, Palm & others.