FRAPA has reported that a STAR China press statement distributed throughout Asia on 20th March, resulting in a spate of press inclusions, contained incorrect information on the status of its FRS, the Format Registration Service.
STAR received an FRS registration by FRAPA for its format Sing China . The company claimed in its recent press statement that this implies that the format is genuine and original. The FRS does not provide a certificate as a proof of originality. A format registration is not the same as a trademark registration which gives an entity final proof that it is the sole and original owner of a certain brand or logo. STAR HAS OBVIOUSLY MIXED UP THE TWO SYSTEMS.
FRAPA is 100% committed to protect the rights of formats and other intellectual property and the people who create it. FRAPA wishes to underline that it is a neutral organization founded to protect and recognize formats and as such does not want to be misquoted in a way that could harm this neutral position. Incorrect information about the legal protection of formats and the status of format registrations is not in the interest of a fair and equal play field in a flourishing format industry.’
A registration of a format in the FRS provides the registrar with a specific date of registration. This date is the most important result of the registration, as this is one of the steps in FRAPA’s 20 steps process on how to protect a format. The registering person or company owns what they register. But if it seems not be original, the date can prove that the format is second to the original.
The press coverage has prompted an explosion of questions from mainly Asian media companies about the FRS. Established in 2000 the FRS contains currently more than 1000 formats and format proposals and is designed to offer a system to prove that registered work existed the moment it was created.