Sports law in Germany

Sport Law is our passion and we have the pleasure to offer secure legal solutions for athletes, clubs, promoters, associations and other institutions. We evaluate your questions both form an economic and tactic point of you, trying to do our best in order to achieve great results, together.

Sport has to be clear and transparent. For this reason, compulsory and enforceable regulations are so important. This is what we stand for!

From a legal point of you, there is no other field of law, that describes clearly and distinctly the sector of sport law. Various sports have different regulations (national and international) and they are not equally applicable in each case to all parties. In addition the regulation of every sport, we also need to deal with the respective state´s law. Sport Law includes also cases of alleged manipulation and doping.

We are expert in sports law, especially in the following key points:

  • legal counseling and representation of athletes, sports organizers, sports federations and league providers, as well as the corresponding formation of all related sport agreements;
  • legal advice and representation in the context of sponsorship agreements, authorization assignment, league statutes, association and society agreements, etc.;
  • Development and testing of sport club’s articles of association, sport association charter and statutes, sponsorship agreements, marketing agreements (all media), sports rights agreements, sports license agreements, sports agency agreements, sports events agreements, sports organizers contracts, sports equipment contracts, horse contracts etc.;
  • Legal consultation and representation of gamer managers, sports managers, sports company consultants, sports marketers, and sports sponsors;
  • legal advice and representation before national and international sporting courts, as well as national courts and association or association courts;
  • legal advice and representation in doping procedures, cross-disciplinary proceedings as well as in cases of competition barriers, transfers etc.;
  • In the light of personal commitment, we also advise in the area of ​​animal rights, in particular, equestrian clubs, horse sport associations, horse breeders and horse owners, as well as private and professional riders and veterinarians (including horses and horse doping);
  • sports law advice in connection with the associations ‘creations, the drafting and alteration of statutes, the divestment of economic business operations, sponsoring contracts and business agreements (including TV rights);
  • prosecution of product piracy, infringements of sports law, trademark infringements, copyright infringements, violations of the right of self-determination with regards to public information, legal infringements in connection with verbal and image journalism.

International copyright law

Copyrights apply and are effective also internationally. This follows the principle of territoriality and the so-called “Lex loci protexionis”. Copyright infringements are ruled by the laws of the respective country. The national rules of this state determine the development, content and scope of the copyright. The author receives a copyright only in the respective state in which it exists according to its regulations. Foreigner’s provisions may differ from the national ones. If, for example, a copyright infringement is asserted in another state before a German court, then it must also be stated how this copyright has been created and infringed in regards to the legal ordainments of the state. The German court therefore has to apply the law of the foreign state (because of the “lex loci protexionis” principle).

Is there an internationally recognized copyright? 

No; instead, there is a large number of international copyright agreements, such as the Berne Convention (RBC or RBÜ, as it is called in Germany) of 1886 and the TRIPS of 1994; both are actually the most important international copyright agreements. The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) also represents one of the most important international agreements. This regulates copyright´s matters in order to keep the RBC up to date. The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) covers related rights of performers and phonogram producers separately. 

What does the Berne Convention regulate? 

The Berne Convention (Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) was last updated in 1979. Accordingly to Article 5 of the RBC, each Contracting State must recognize the protection of works of its own citizens. However, this has the consequence that the foreign author can be entitled to different rights in the different country, as these are differently regulated in the respective target states (contrary to the “lex loci protexionis” principle).  Nowadays, about 158 states have joined the RBC. Subsequent international agreements generally allow the RBC to be considered at least “supplementary” to the state territorial provisions.

What does the TRIPS include?

The TRIPS is an annex of the WTO provisions. Any State that wants to join the WTO must also ratify TRIPS.  Currently, the WTO and TRIPS have about 149 members. However, copyright is not the only aspect that is regulated by these agreements; they also concern the basic features of a free trade economy, while maintaining all IP rights, including in particular the technical property rights and ancillary copyrights. In addition, the member states may develop their own fundamental limits of protection.

Which effect do international agreements have?

Just like any simple contract, international agreements only work between the contracting parties, in this case, the countries that have signed them.