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Advertising and the 2020 Olympic Games

Emblems and names for the Tokyo 2020 Games and other intellectual property associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games are protected in Japan by the Trademark Law, Unfair Competition Prevention Law, Copyright Act, and so on.

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Furthermore, upon receiving the invitation to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games the government of Japan made a pledge to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to observe the Olympic Charter and suitably protect the intellectual property, etc. of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Organisations/Businesses permitted to use the marks associated with the Tokyo 2020 Games

The use of intellectual property in the form of marks associated with the Tokyo 2020 Games is permitted for the following organisations and businesses:

  • Tokyo 2020 Games official sponsors, rights-holding broadcasters (RHB)
  • Host City, Host Government, Host Venue
  • Media organisations, such as newspaper publishers, TV stations, magazine publishers, etc. (for reporting purposes only)
  • The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC)
  • Local and municipal governments (only for items provided by the organising committee)
  • Other organisations/businesses for which use of the marks associated with the Tokyo 2020 Games is deemed appropriate by the organising committee.

The unauthorized use, abuse, or misappropriation of marks associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and other intellectual property is known as ambush marketing.

This not only infringes on the intellectual property rights of the IOC and IPC but also results in a reduction of sponsorship funds and other forms of funding from sponsors and other organisations. This could, therefore, seriously compromise the operation of the Games and impede efforts to develop the athletes. 

2020 Olympic Games Sponsors

As of March 2019, the sponsors for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games comprise the Worldwide Olympic Partners (TOP Partners) that are IOC sponsors, as well as local partners that are sponsors of the organising committee.

Sponsors for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

The sponsors for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games comprise the Worldwide Paralympic Partners, which are IPC sponsors, as well as local partners which are sponsors of the organising committee. Exclusive commercial exploitation rights for the intellectual property associated with the Paralympic Games is granted. 

Intellectual Property

The main intellectual property associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games includes the:

  • Olympic Symbol
  • Paralympic Symbol (three Agitos) emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Games
  • Names for the Tokyo 2020 Games
  • Mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Games
  • Pictograms
  • Mottos for the Tokyo 2020 Games
  • Terms, images and voice communications related to the Olympic Games.

The respective marks associated with the JOC and JPC are also protected as intellectual property.    

Protected Terms

Terms, including names of the Tokyo 2020 Games, are also subject to protection as intellectual property, and may not be used freely.

Names for the Tokyo 2020 Games 

  • Games of the XXXII Olympiad
  • Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Abbreviated names for the Tokyo 2020 Games 

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Tokyo 2020 Games
  • Tokyo 2020

Other terms 

  • Olympics
  • Olympism
  • Olympian
  • Olympiad
  • Paralympics
  • Paralympian
  • Citius, Altius, Fortius
  • Faster, Higher, Stronger
  • Faster, Higher, Stronger (in Japanese)
  • Spirit in Motion
  • Olympic flame / Olympic flame relay / torch / torch relay
  • Athletes of the Japanese Olympic delegation/Athletes of the Japanese Paralympic delegation
  • “Gambare! Nippon!” slogan

Ambush Marketing

Regardless of whether or not the act was carried out intentionally, ambush marketing refers to the use of intellectual property associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games or the misappropriation of images associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games by organisations or individuals, without authorisation from the IOC, IPC, and the organising committee, which are the rights holders of this intellectual property.

Acts by such organisations or individuals to appear as if they were officially involved in the Olympic and Paralympic movement interfere with the legitimate marketing activities undertaken by marketing partners and damage the Olympic and Paralympic brand.

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