FRAPA, the Format Recognition and Protection Association, has launched a new service to help programme makers who feel their format rights have been infringed.


The FRAPA Infringement Guide is FRAPA’s response to a call from format makers to provide practical, step-by-step assistance on what to do in the event of a suspected intellectual property infringement by a producer, broadcaster or platform. The new tool consists of an infographic that illustrates the steps needed to check whether a format has been copied, along with the actions that should then be taken. 


In combination with the Infringement Guide, FRAPA board members are offering face-to-face consultations to assess cases that fall outside of the guide’s parameters. In more complex cases, FRAPA’S preferred legal partners can offer short advisory sessions to help secure a swift and fair resolution.  


Phil Gurin, co-chair of FRAPA, said: “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. 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.” 


In a recent FRAPA questionnaire of its members and 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 what is perceived to be a long, expensive and confusing process. 


Jan Salling, co-chair of FRAPA, added: “It’s devastating for a creative business to be ripped off, but it’s equally damaging to be wrongfully accused. 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 realise 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 guide here:


Staff Reporter

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