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IP Rights in eSports: Maximizing Brand Control, Minimizing Infringement Risks

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Monday, December 21, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide IP counsel advising eSports game creators, designers, event sponsors, gamers, and others in the eSports industry on protecting IP rights. The panel will discuss infringement and enforcement and IP provisions in contracts to maximize control over the products and brands.


eSports have transformed the gaming industry. It is increasingly popular and significant financial stakes are involved. It is estimated that eSports, a billion-dollar industry in 2020, will be an approximately $1.6 billion industry by 2023. Although sports leagues are generally not new, eSports raises many legal issues not seen in the same way in more traditional leagues. In particular, eSports raises new IP and brand issues for game developers and publishers, gamers, event organizers, sponsors, and others.

Who owns rights to republish a game played in a league event and does that ownership translate into control over the game's exploitation in other ways? Who owns the rights in an eSports tournament broadcast? Is streaming an event fair use? What ownership rights do players have in their own gameplay? When and which classes of trademarks should be sought for eSports? What issues arise when eSport players are also brand influencers?

Counsel can guide eSports clients in policing and protecting their IP rights while minimizing the risk of infringing on others' IP rights.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the challenges involved in protecting IP rights in eSports. The panel will also address the problems that arise if IP issues are not addressed and offer guidance on policing IP rights. The panel will discuss IP terms in contracts for both players and teams and game developers and event sponsors, all of whom want to maximize control over their products and brands.



  1. Protecting IP rights in eSports through licensing and enforcement
    1. Trademark
    2. Trade dress
    3. Copyright
    4. Patent
  2. Common challenges
    1. Cloning
    2. Cheat bots
    3. Influencers


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the infringement vulnerabilities for game developers? Event organizers? Sponsors? Gamers?
  • What are the copyright, trademark, and patent issues that counsel should anticipate and address during the development of an eSports game? What IP issues arise during eSports tournaments?
  • What strategies should IP counsel employ to police and enforce IP rights in the video gaming industry?
  • Are there performance rights for participants in eSports tournaments?


Bentz, Tamany
Tamany Vinson Bentz

DLA Piper

Ms. Bentz focuses on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secrets, trademarks and copyright...  |  Read More

Culp, Kimberly
Kimberly Culp

Carr McClellan

Ms. Culp works with digital media, video game, and consumer products companies to resolve their high-stakes IP...  |  Read More

Scelsi, Christina
Christina Scelsi

U.S. General Counsel
Wargaming (USA)

Ms. Scelsi is responsible for legal and business matters for the company’s operations in the United States,...  |  Read More

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