Is My Intellectual Property Protected Internationally?

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You may have already solidified your position as the owner of a piece of intellectual property, by officially registering your creative work with the appropriate United States authorities. But there may also be a market for your creative work internationally, making you consider carrying your business across domestic borders. With this, you must understand that your rights as an intellectual property owner within the United States may not apply in other foreign countries. Continue reading to learn whether your protection will extend internationally and how an experienced Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you better understand the extent of your rights.

Am I granted protection for my intellectual property internationally?

The short answer is, no, your intellectual property protections granted to you under United States law may not apply in other foreign countries. This is because, evidently, these rights are administered by national, not international, laws and authorities.

As an example, the United States is considered a “first to use” country. This means trademark rights may be granted to marks used in commerce for the longest time. Other notable countries that have adopted this trademark system are Canada and South Africa. In other countries, though, the “first to file” trademark system is upheld. This has the ownership rights over a mark go to the first party who registers it with the appropriate intellectual property office in the country. Notable countries that follow this are China and the United Kingdom.

This is just one explanation as to why your intellectual property protection within the United States may not translate over to China, for instance. Overall, each country has its own set of intellectual property rules and regulations, which may differ drastically from those enforced by United States authorities.

What can I do to achieve international protection?

Essentially, you must apply for intellectual property protection in each country you do business or plan to do business. Otherwise, your afforded United States protections will do little to nothing to defend against any foreign infringement instances.

You may rest easier knowing that international agreements and organizations are in place to help you achieve international protection more easily and cost-effectively. Namely, there is the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization, among others. But you must understand that such international agreements and organizations do not replace the local requirements and procedures within each country you do business or plan to do business.

In conclusion, if you are unsure of your next move, resort to a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer. Someone at The Ingber Law Firm will know the legal option that works in your best interest. So call our firm today.