In 2002 Guernsey's government took the decision to overhaul Guernsey's intellectual property law regime.  Since 2002, Guernsey has introduced cutting-edge legislation on key traditional intellectual property rights such as copyright, trade marks, database rights and patent rights.  Having done so, Guernsey is now turning its attention to the groundbreaking innovations envisioned in the original 2002 decision.

Proposed legislation     The official agenda for the September meeting of Guernsey's legislature (the 'States'), has just been published.   It contains a report from Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Department recommending that the States introduce legislation in relation to image rights. You can read the report by clicking here.

What's an image right?     Image rights have become hugely important in today's increasingly celebrity-centric world, whether in the world of sport or music or even in the world of reality television.  The rights can be of considerable economic value - just think of David Beckham's earnings from sponsorship and endorsement deals.  However, image rights are also important to celebrities and football clubs seeking to clamp down on unauthorised use of their images. 

World first for Guernsey    As yet, no jurisdiction in the world has grappled with the difficult task of defining image rights in legislation and establishing a regime which allows for protection and enforcement of those rights, whilst at the same time balancing other essential rights such as freedom of the press.  As a result, there is considerable uncertainty over what an image right is - rather like the elephant in the room, we may know one when we see one, but it is more difficult to explain it in words.

Next month, Guernsey's States will consider whether to create the world's first registered image right regime.   Here at AO Hall we were the first law firm in Guernsey to set up a dedicated intellectual property practice and are the only Guernsey law firm to have been recognised in Legal 500 for intellectual property law.   We are at the forefront of intellectual property developments in Guernsey and you can depend on us to keep you up to date with developments in this and all other areas of intellectual property law.