Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Who Owns Afcon 2012 Jersey?

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By Dickson Jere

Who owns the jersey that was worn by the 2012 Afcon champions – Zambia? This question has triggered a very healthy debate in the country. It is good that issues of Intellectual Property (IP) rights are now becoming part of our debate.

So, the answer to the question is twofold.

Firstly, as any lawyer will tell you, the answer is found in the contract between the sports wear company Nike and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). Ordinarily, in most of such contracts, the IP rights remain with the sportswear company like Nike but the contract may provide something else. That is the easy answer to the question of ownership of the jersey.

Secondly, the answer can also be very complicated. Four different pieces of legislation comes into play and I will briefly touch on them below.
1. Trademark – the FAZ logos, shapes like the Nike mark and all that on the jersey will be protected under the trademark law. In Zambia, it will be the Trade Mark Act, Chapter 400 of the Laws of Zambia. For them to be protected, they must be registered as such at PACRA.

2. Industrial Design – the design of that jersey, the colors, patterns, stripes, shape, lines, ornament and all, will be protected under the design law. In Zambia, it will be under the Industrial Designs Act No 22 of 2016. I have been reliably informed that the jersey was designed by former FAZ President and our football icon Kalusha Bwalya. So, on face value he can claim the design rights but did he register it with PACRA? Or he handed it over to Nike? In short, the design must be registered in order to be protected.

3. Copyright- the jersey may also contains some write ups, graphics, pictorials or sculptural features. These will be protected by another law – copyright. But hear me here – copyright subsists in the original works of authorship when fixed on the jersey. So, there is no need to register with PACRA – rights are protected automatically! In Zambia copyright is governed by the Copyright and Performance Rights Act, Chapter 406 of the Laws of Zambia.

4. Patent – If that jersey contains some unique and special scientific discovery in its fabric or how it works on the body of the players, then it can also be protected by patent law. This is very rare but some have patented jerseys. In Zambia, patents must be registered at PACRA fir one to claim the invention. This is done under the Patents Act No 40 of 2016.

So, four different laws deal with one simple jersey as demonstrated above. That is way bigger brands will simply insert a clause stating that “all IP rights belong to Nike” meaning that whomever was involved with development of the jersey gives up the rights. This is usually in exchange for cash! Sometimes, the IP rights can be shared.

So, who owns the 2012 Afcon jersey?

The answer lies in the contract between Nike and FAZ! The Kalusha Bwalya executive that signed contract with Nike may shed more light as to whether they gave away the IP rights or not…(I wish I can see the contract and the IP rights clauses). I hope FAZ secretariat have copy in achieves.

By the way, this has nothing to do with wearing of the apparel by citizens at any event so long as it is not counterfeit. You are free to wear them anytime…
Anyway, Zambians are only interested in watching the game between their Legends and Barcelona FC. The team can even play shirtless we do not care…it is the players we are interested in!

The author is Zambian Lawyer and Journalist who is also an IP Rights Practitioner. He holds a Masters Degree in Intellectual Property (MIP) under the scholarship of the World International Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Japanese Government.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Everything was a secret under the The Great Galu administration because he did everything under the table dont be surprised if it owned by a a few individuals. I blame the Kamanga administration for not exposing everything.

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    • Some politician who, currently, does group morning workouts was asked to “affiliate” to the sports body. Why didn’t the sports ministry direct this former FAZ boss to consult current FAZ leadership on his plans to host Barcelona? Because they are politically benefitting from it. Kamamgalu is pigeonholed and can only use jerseys for anchorhold.

  2. Let the two (Kalu and Kamanga) bury the hatchet… like the author says PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED TO WATCH THE GAME… they can even borrow a jersey from Garden Compound… who cares.

    • Deja Vu – That’s why you keep repeating the same failures because of this bury the hatch and people interested in drinking and watching the game. You can not undertake reforms or develop at grassroots with that type of mindset.

    • It would do Zambian soccer a lot of good if they left the stage. Anywa Kalusha has left so we need to protest for Kamanga to go so that Zambian football can win some trophies

  3. Whoever took over the debts accumulated by FAZ in 2012 owns the sports kit. Zambians need to respect the laws regarding business transactions, contracts and sponsorship deals.
    When I saw Kalusha Bwalya and Nkweto were involved. I knew a problem would arise.
    Sadly our low level thinking Minister of Sport fell for the trap.

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  4. Galu or Kamangalu can fight they want, and all the way. We don’t mind who wins. All that we want is the game to be played: two red cards, 4-2 win for Legends. Whether, Zambia plays shirtless or in Nike, they will still register a win. How can the heroes lose at Heroes? Come to think of it.

  5. The mess with that design and the nike brand started under Kalushya …….
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    Individuals in his gang at faz were importing fake nike FAZ kit from China and selling.

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  6. That Jersey belongs to the football association and the government not individuals but if you have a shallow mind you will say it belongs to one person.

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    • It could belong to FAZ and GRZ , but during kalushyas time individuals in his administration had the licence to distribute and sell that kit.

      Instead of going through official channels, they were importing and distributing fakes from China……

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    • @Bernard Chiz you cant rule anything out with laws. South Africa came to find out some 16 years later that Bafana Bafana copyright did not belong to the National football Association. It belonged to a local businessman who acquired the rights to the phrase in 1994. SAFA lost a legal battle to reclaim the name when South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed their case. The copyright owners are believed to have made a profit of 6.5m British pounds from it during the World Cup. So just check if Chipolopolo is registered. You can go register it and make some money while Kamanga is sleeping.

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  7. The recent daybreak EL jogs prompted government to reprimand him, that he must do his workouts through the NSCZ. Surely. Why? Because they felt threatened, politically.

    Why didn’t the sports ministry direct this former FAZ boss to consult current FAZ leadership on his plans to host Barcelona? Because they are politically benefitting from it. The pigeonholed Kamanga’s last straw can only be the failed attempts to weaponise the jersey’s IP rights.

  8. Good! Im happy that Dickson Jere is now becoming progressive. Not the tyrant he was in State House when he was oppressing fellow journalists. Politics is a decadent game. It can turn someone into a devil. Like it is doing to HH

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  9. What’s important news is that the jersey was designed by Great Kalu. If it were Kamanga today some people could have been at ICC. GK does great things but doesn’t blow his trumpet. They’ve laboured to scandalize him but they’ve failed. They’ll continue to fail. When Kamanga leaves FAZ we’ll forget him within minutes but Kalu’s name shall live longer. He’s a legend.

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    • Really laughable..FAZ was literally spoonfed by GRZ under your Great Galu everything was bought from flight tickets to hotel bills. What great things did he do? He was giving his wife all the contracts even using his position to bully the boys to use his agents. Sunzu deal was a typical example.

    • He’s the only player that’s been honoured by 4 Presidents. Show us your father’s medals. At time when many people and that includes football players and administrators insisted that Zambia disbands the team and withdraw from all football competitions after the Gabon disaster, it was Great Kalu who stepped up and insisted that we soldier on. He captained the novice players to 2nd position at AFCON. He’s the only FAZ President that has won the Africa Cup. Show up your achievements apart from scratching your balls on LT

  10. Dick stating the obvious. It’s according to whatever is written in the contract which everyone knows.

  11. If the contract stipulates that all IP rights belong to Nike, then they would have ownership over the jersey’s IP. According to an article on WIPO, IP rights are the basis for key business transactions that secure the economic value of sports and push the industry forward. The current sports industry approach to monetizing its assets relies on an amalgam of contract rights, IP rights, and a basket of analogous and neighboring rights that are often specific to an event or jurisdiction. Certain countries have recognized neighboring rights for sports events. While national laws provide various options for tackling signal piracy, including shutting down illegal websites in some countries, broadcasting organizations have pressed for better legal protection at international level.

  12. Bwana Jere u have not answered yo own question. So why did u ask the question in the first place. Just to copy wats oredy being asked by others. Rubbish.

  13. @Bernard Chiz you cant rule anything out with laws. South Africa came to find out some 16 years later that Bafana Bafana copyright did not belong to the National football Association. It belonged to a local businessman who acquired the rights to the phrase in 1994. SAFA lost a legal battle to reclaim the name when South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed their case. The copyright owners are believed to have made a profit of 6.5m British pounds from it during the World Cup. So just check if Chipolopolo is registered. You can go register it and make some money while Kamanga is sleeping.

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