In a planned Intellectual Property Rights Public Awareness Campaign, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the Local Organizing Committee leading Qatar’s preparations for football’s most important tournament, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, published cautionary notices in all local Arabic and English newspapers, and launched a mass SMS campaign targeting all subscribers of national mobile service providers, warning against infringement, misuse or unauthorized use of FIFA’s Intellectual Property Rights associated with the tournament and also requested nationals and residents to report any such misuse.
Contents of the half-page notice that was published and SMS sent to all subscribers of the networks of the two local giant mobile service providers; Ooredoo and Vodafone, read as, “SC draws the attention of individual and corporate citizens and residents of Qatar, including business entities such as printing presses, media agencies, distributors, importers and manufacturers of gift items and memorabilia that, pursuant to the provisions of Laws No.7 of 2002 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights and Industrial Designs, all marks, insignia, artistic, and literature works of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (Tournament IP), are solely and exclusively owned by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
The Committee warned that anyone who infringes these laws shall be liable to imprisonment for term up to two years, to a fine not exceeding QR20,000 or to both. The penalties might also include posting the court’s decision in a local newspaper at their own cost, suspension of the commercial license for period up to six months, confiscation of the tools and equipment used in counterfeiting and imitated products.
The FIFA IP covers (but is not limited to) the official emblem, the tournament trophy, the official mascot and
the following words — whether used jointly or separately — FIFA, Qatar 2022, World Cup, World Cup 2022, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The organizer also requested residents and nationals to refrain from using, manufacturing and importing any products or service bearing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 without obtaining FIFA’s prior written consent. It also requested residents to report any violation or illegal use of FIFA IPR to email@example.com
The notice added, “SC appreciated the amount of national pride associated with hosting such a mega sport event in Qatar and in the spirit of this national unity, requests residents to cooperate with regards to the IP for Qatar’s successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022”.
This PR campaign represents the first of many initiatives and strategies that both FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy shall put in place to protect the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™ against ambush marketing, infringement and misuse of the tournament IP and commercial rights.