International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Protect your Intellectual Property Rights

When trading products internationally today it is essentially to understand your product's intellectual property rights and how to protect them. Intellectual property is defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as "creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce." With the rapid growth of technology it has become increasingly easier for people to imitate and sell a product or trademark illegally. Furthermore, because of the international inequities in terms of protection and laws established in various countries regarding intellectual property rights, it is often difficult to protect those rights across international borders. However, there are three main manners of protection available for your intellectual property rights: patents, trademarks and copyrights.
  1. Patent - Gives an owner exclusive rights over an invention
  2. Trademark - Basically a brand name: a word, symbol, name or device that identifies the source of goods.
  3. Copyright - Protection for works of authorship
These are all available to obtain in the US but only offer any protection inside the US. To protect your intellectual property rights abroad you must obtain patent rights in each individual country. Visit WIPO's Guide to Intellectual Property Worldwide, for more information on different countries' requirements on obtaining property rights.

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