The Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) has developed the FRAPA Infringement Guide to avoid and deal with intellectual property infringement.
The Infringement Guide was created in response to calls from format professionals for assistance with handling suspected IP infringement, whether by a producer, broadcaster or platform.
The new tool offers “an infographic that clearly and systematically illustrates the steps needed to ascertain whether a format has been copied, along with the actions that should then be taken,” according to a release.
The guidelines are supported by free case assessments from industry experts on FRAPA’s board, who are offering face-to-face consultations to assess cases that fall outside of the guide’s parameters. FRAPA’S preferred legal partners can offer short advisory sessions in more complex cases.
The guide is the latest step by FRAPA to combat infringement, after the creation of the Format Registration Service (FRS), launched in 2000, and the FRAPA Analysis Service (FAS) and FRAPA Legal Report, both launched in 2017.
According to a questionnaire sent to users of the Format Registration Service, 29% of respondents said they had experienced infringement but had done nothing about it due to a lack of knowledge and/or the time to invest in the process of addressing their concerns.
“Infringement in all its many guises is a major topic within the FRAPA community, particularly the rise in partial infringement as a result of the proliferation of streaming platforms,” said Phil Gurin (pictured), co-chair of FRAPA, in a statement. “We know from experience that, in today’s fractured and fragmented marketplace, cases are never simple or indeed similar, so the Infringement Guide adopts a layered approach to provide first hand clear answers to complex issues. An important part of FRAPA’s mission is to offer practical help to our members: we believe the Infringement Guide, supported by one-on-one consultations with FRAPA executives and/or legal partners, represents a significant step towards achieving this goal.”
“It’s devastating for a creative business to be ripped off, but it’s equally damaging to be wrongfully accused,” added FRAPA co-chair Jan Salling. “The big producers and broadcasters are frequently accused of theft, often by new players who are unclear about the difference between a format and an idea. Conversely, there are inexperienced companies out there who are the victim of theft but don’t realize it — and never will without clear, industry-approved procedures for determining IP infringement. As a neutral association, FRAPA’s overriding aim is to foster trust, respect and creativity within the global formats industry.”
Download the FRAPA Infringement Guide here.