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Who among us has not been tempted to enter a contest to win fabulous prizes?

For businesses who are in the market to collect data, photographic material and other IP at a very low cost, contests provide an almost endless source of material, provided that the rules are drafted carefully to transfer every conceivable type of possible IP to the contest organizer.

This article is about the Official Rules and Regulations of the Flip-Flop Friday contest sponsored by CTV Regina. This contest was about submitting photos depicting feet in flip flops. The Rules governing the contest are extremely sophisticated. For example Rule 7 is about the representations and warranties regarding the photos that entrants are presumed to make by entering the contest: by entering the contest, the entrants represent and warrant (among other things) that the photos they submit are their own original work and that they do not infringe on any third party IP rights. Under the Rules, all IP of every type in the photos is transferred to the contest organizer absolutely to use at their discretion forever. Rule 11 defines the IP (excluding the photos) owned by the contest sponsor and or its affiliates.

IP is defined as including, but not limited to trade-marks, trade-names, logos, designs, promotional materials, web pages, source codes, drawings, illustrations, slogans and representations.

Read the article here.

Take away:

  • IP Transfer Agreements should be drafted carefully to cover exactly what the parties intend to transfer. It is unclear whether extremely broad transfers, such as those often used in contest rules, are completely enforceable.


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