Keith Laker of Icondia in Guernsey answers some commonly
asked questions about Guernsey's game changing new image rights
On the pitch and off the pitch the football player's
personality is becoming of ever increasing value and, so is the
need to protect it: the new Image Rights law developed in the
Bailiwick of Guernsey can be a very useful means to achieve this.
Unique in that it has been created specifically to protect
one's persona, this recently introduced law covers every aspect
of a personality, be it a photograph, a mannerism, a particular
look or style, or even a catch phrase.
What exactly are 'Image Rights' – a misleading
Keith Laker: You could be forgiven for thinking
that the term 'Image Rights' means literally – the
rights associated with a picture or photograph, but in fact nothing
could be further from the truth – Image Rights relate to ANY
aspect of a personality that is unique and distinctive to that
For Tommy Cooper - his fez or his laugh; for John Cleese - his
iconic funny walk; and, in the world of football, for Sir Alex -
his distinctive Scots accent; for José Mourinho - his title
'The Special One'; the list goes on and on .....
Surely one's personality is protected under existing
KL: Laws such as copyright and trademark law,
originally introduced over 100 years ago by the way, were never
created with the specific intention of protecting one's
personality. As a result, these laws are not well-suited to
protecting something as complex and dynamic as a personality,
leading to considerable uncertainty and expense when litigation is
The Image Rights law has been developed over the last 10 years
with the sole purpose of bringing clarity, simplicity and
effectiveness when it comes to protecting all aspects of one's
personality. It's a bit like having a multi-tool penknife in
your pocket – ready for all sorts of situations you can't
quite foresee. And this Image Rights law has been developed so that
registration of personality should sit comfortably alongside any
other arrangements that may already be in place.
Why register a person's 'Image Rights' –
what's the point?
KL: Because it's simple - and it has the
potential to protect every single distinctive aspect of a
personality. And, getting there first can make all the difference;
if two or more people attempt to register the same characteristic
feature, you can guess who gets the benefit!
Is registration easy – what's involved?
KL: Using Icondia, the registration process is
usually very straightforward and simple. We work alongside agents,
lawyers or other advisors and aim to look after every detail of the
registration process leaving you free to get on with
your main business. And it's not expensive, with the
registration fee equating to a cost from less than £1 a
So do give Image Rights Registration some serious thought
– it can save time, save money and most
importantly could be of real value to your client! As we say in
our ad: 'You'd be nuts not to!'.
As reported in the market updates section of this newsletter, the UAE Ministry of Economy recently reviewed the fees charged by its various departments, including the Trade Mark, Patent and Copyright Office.
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