Formats are protected by law. FRAPA and Baker Mc Kenzie main conclusion in FRAPA Legal Report 2017
FRAPA chairmen Phil Gurin (IM Global Television) and Jan Salling (Missing Link) and international law firm Baker McKenzie, Darya Ermolina and Jose Marie Mendez launched the FRAPA Legal Report at MIPFormats April 1st . The report looks into the protection of format rights under international law, and provides a practical, user-friendly guide to the legal options available to format creators.
As successful formats became more valuable, they also became more vulnerable to theft — as has been highlighted by the recent spate of infringement cases. This report provides the global community of format creatives with the tools they need to protect their most valuable business assets.
Phil Gurin;’there is a strong believe in our industry that formats are not protected by law. This report shows that this is an outdated opinion’. Jan Salling; ‘it’s a new dawn and will definitely help the industry’.
The new publication examined over 60 reported judgements in 30 major TV territories and presents an analysis of the legal protection available to the global TV community under the laws of copyright, unfair competition, passing off, breach of confidence and trade mark. It also identifies the key components of a television format —creative concept, production know-how, name, visual features, catchphrases, branding ¬— and list the ways in which these can be protected. Given the absence of any statutory provision covering a ‘format right’, a television format nevertheless can be considered to be a bundle of proprietary rights, all of which are protectable under a suite of laws.
Many legal cases are centered on copyright law but, increasingly, format creators have looked beyond this and pursued claims for passing off, unfair competition and breach of confidence with great degrees of success. The 2017 report considers these cases in detail and the protection available to media formats around the world.
FRAPA – the Format Recognition and Protection Association — is an international body dedicated to the protection of formats. Established in 2000 by a group of key industry professionals, FRAPA now represents numerous companies from within the television and broadcast industry. Its members include format creators, producers, distributors and broadcasters.
As an independent, non-profit association, FRAPA’s key services include registering format proposals; providing consultation in disputes arising out of claims of format plagiarism; creating guidelines for fair competition; and educating the industry and the law regarding the protection of formats.
About Baker Mc Kenzie:
Baker McKenzie has been ranked as the world’s number-one law brand for the past seven years by independent insight experts. It works with 500 companies across 47 territories and counts many of the world’s biggest media and entertainment brands among its clients