A brief overview of the role of Intellectual Property Rights in exporting. This information is taken from "A Basic Guide to Exporting" provided by the U.S. Commercial Service to assist U.S. companies in exporting.
Last Published: 5/8/2017

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Even in this time of advance technology, where businesses can connect with their consumers from thousands of miles away, face-to-face connection is still valuable. When it comes to export partners and business partners, this personal interaction is even more important. But before hopping on the next flight to another country to meet with potential or current partners, make sure you are aware of any nuances in their business culture.  For more information on how to be prepared for your business travel abroad, watch this Exporting Basics video all about international business meetings.

Intellectual Property Considerations

Intellectual property (IP) refers to a broad collection of rights relating to works of authorship, which are protected under copyright law; inventions, which are protected under patent law; marks, which are protected by trademark law; and designs and trade secrets. No international treaty completely defines these types of intellectual property, and countries’ laws differ in significant respects. National intellectual property laws create, confirm, or regulate a property right without which others could use or copy a trade secret, an expression, a design, or a product or its mark and packaging.

The rights granted by a U.S. patent, trademark registration, copyright, or mask work (design of a semiconductor chip) registration extend only throughout the United States. Rights provided by a foreign country may be greater or less than rights provided under U.S. law. There is no such thing as an international patent, trademark, or copyright. Copyright protection depends on national laws, but registration is typically not required. There is no real shortcut to worldwide protection of intellectual property. However, some advantages and minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property exist under treaties or other international agreements.

Intellectual Property