The intellectual property system, and trademarks in particular, play a pivotal role in safeguarding the unique character of the Olympic Games and their identifications, including the Olympic symbol, Olympic emblems, the flag, the torch and the anthem.

The Olympic Games are the largest and most complex sporting event in the world. The Games are as much a celebration of innovation and creativity as they are of humanity, fair play and sporting excellence. 

The Olympic properties are:

  • The Olympic symbol (rings)
  • The Olympic flag
  • The Olympic motto
  • The Olympic anthem
  • Olympic identifications (including but not limited to “Olympic Games” and “Games of the Olympiad”)
  • Olympic designations
  • Olympic emblems
  • The Olympic flame and torches

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) owns all rights on the Olympic properties.

A campaign has been launched to give stronger protection to intellectual property rights involving Olympic symbols. The campaign, launched by China National Intellectual Property Administration and the State Administration for Market Regulation in October, will last to the end of June. The campaign will help ensure the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics can be run smoothly.

During the campaign, those who infringe patents or trademarks involving Olympic symbols will be punished and IPR-related inspections in places that produce or sell Olympic products as well as at e-commerce giants need to be intensified.

While this may seem overly strict, the purpose of the guidelines are to make sure only companies sponsoring the Olympics and teams are getting the value for their millions of dollars.

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patenttrademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at