Every 26 April is World IP Day and this year's theme is 'Reach for Gold' — exploring how innovation, creativity and IP rights support the development of our favourite sports around the world.

To celebrate this theme (and because we love an excuse to talk sport!), we've put together a selection of our best sports content, including football trade marks like 'Smokey Beckham' and Nicklas Bendtner's lucky pants, to inventions and innovations from the development of the bicycle to whether the latest sports apparel technology is really worth your money.

Lucky pants and ambush marketing — a Trade Mark Attorney’s guide to the World Cup

When you think about the FIFA World Cup, malicious marketing tactics and trade mark law might not immediately spring to mind. However, this has stolen headlines at major sporting tournaments before, thanks to Denmark's self-anointed legend Nicklas Bendtner’s lucky pants. Here, we explore the different types of ambush marketing to be aware of before prestigious sports events.

The history of the tennis ball

Wimbledon is a quintessentially British phenomenon. A heady mix of awe-inspiring tennis, strawberry and champagne consumption and, as the tournament is synonymous with British summertime, dodging the occasional downpour. However, the game as we know it today used to be rather different — here's a look at the evolution of the tennis ball, from solid rubber to lifetime bouncers.

From CR7 to Smokey Beckham — a guide to football trade marks

Trade marks and brands are possibly more important today than ever before, which is why an increasing number of footballers are looking to take advantage of their profiles through IP rights. From 'ooh, ahh, Cantona' to 'CR7', we put together this long-form guide to trade marks in the beautiful game to highlight why securing rights is so valuable to modern athletes.

Seven inventions that revolutionised cycling

Over the last 200 years, cycling has grown into a hugely popular sport worldwide — but this is unlikely to have been the case if bikes hadn't advanced past their early ‘bone shaking’ incarnations. So from STI shifters to quick-release wheels, here's a look at the seven top inventions that helped to revolutionise cycling.

Bats, balls and bed sheets — the world of cricket trade mark trolls

Would you wear a pair of Freddie Flintoff shoes? Would you sleep in a Shane Warne bed sheet? Many 'trade mark trolls' are looking to take advantage of IP rights in cricket. Here's a guide to this rather mad world…

Copyright in gaming — why is everyone suing Fortnite?

Now over to the world of eSports, an industry in which revenues are set to exceed USD 1bn this year. Fortnite is a game so successful that it has sparked a number of interesting, high-profile debates and legal battles in the IP world. In one of our most popular articles of all time, published by CITMA, we explore why a number of celebrities are locked in legal battles with the game's developer.

Exciting innovations to improve gun fit for females

Shooting (whether it’s game or clay-pigeon) has traditionally been seen as man’s territory. Compared with men, females tend to have higher cheekbones, longer necks, shorter arms, bigger breasts, smaller hands, weaker muscle groups and compact skeletons. So we had a look at the innovations that exist to make shooting more accessible to women.

How smart is a smart fabric — does performance apparel deliver on the marketing hype?

Smart fabric brands like Dry-FIT, Primeknit and ARMOUR promise the wearer enhanced performance through benefits like breathability, abrasion resistance, toughness, stretchiness and waterproofing. But what exactly is so special about these materials and — importantly — do they deliver on the marketing hype and justify their premium prices?