IP Protection in International Trade: Need, Factors and Possibilities in Market Place.

Nov 112019

Intellectual Property is an exclusive right given to the holder to protect his invention or innovation. It is a creation of an intellect mind for which the holder is assigned dominance in the market. Intellectual Property in mode of Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Geographical Indications, Design, etc. acts as a catalyst in the growth of one’s business. Such superiority in market by the holder, not only boosts his confidence but helps to accelerate the sales of the business. Organisations working internationally or domestic can claim to protect their product depending on the nature of their working. 

Moreover, Intellectual Property protection is not merely a right assigned but the duty of the inventor to contribute to the economy for its secure working. Intellectual Property protection must be acquired irrespective of the mode of trading through Patent/Trademark Attorneys so that one is able to concentrate on his business rather than dealing with legal matters all the time.

Need of protection of Intellectual Property in International trade:

Intellectual Property is a right that extends beyond the geographical jurisdiction, hence, it must be protected regardless if one is trading locally, nationally or internationally. Owning an Intellectual Property Right is cost-effective as once a marketplace is established one does not have to worry about infringement of his ideas, innovations or inventions, irrespective of creating a marketspace locally, nationally or overseas. Intellectual Property does not limit itself territorially, hence, it becomes an important factor of the International Trade.

Intellectual Property as a concept follows the motto of “prevention is better than cure.” It is a special power assigned to the holder in against to other person in the market. Any violation of such protected property by other person may cost heavy pockets. Thus, in order to get the information on filing of patents, patented items, patent availability and the contacts of the authorities worldwide, you can refer to the World Intellectual Property Organisation or WIPO.

Factors to be considered before filing patents internationally:

It is not always necessary, but, recommended to protect your Intellectual Property if one is trading internationally. Claiming the right  depends upon one’s overall needs and requirements. If one thinks that he does not need IP protection, there is no point in wasting huge amounts of money and precious time. Certain factors that must be considered before filing for IP protection are listed below:

  • The first thing you may ask yourself is whether you will be exporting your products outside your country? If yes, you can consider taking the global protection or for the country you are exporting products to.
  • After exporting your products overseas, you may consider manufacturing products in other countries as well. This may be another reason for you to file for an intellectual property right.
  • One of the most important things to be considered before filing the protection is that will you be able to afford the international protection? If yes, you can definitely claim for one but if not, you may consider deferring it for sometime. 
  • Before considering to file a patent or a copyright internationally, you may select countries where you think you can flourish your business. Finding target audience internationally can be a hectic process.
  • The most important thing is to find the likelihood of your idea being copied internationally. For example, you might name your idea or your business in your local language which does not have any relevance to countries whose language is totally different than yours as it may lead to misunderstanding relating to the concept. In such cases, claiming the protection in your country might be enough.
  • Through WIPO you can access to the rules and regulations of IP but you may always know what form of Intellectual Property Rights are available to you, internationally. Laws change from country to country and it is extremely important for you to understand and know the availability of IP before filing it to save your time and money and to utilise it in the best possible way.

Possibility available as per requirements:

Now, when one has decided to protect the Intellectual Property of his business, he must be sure of your requirements. One may want to file a patent only of his idea internationally or claim for copyright or trademark. In some cases one may want to take the whole protection which includes everything from trademark protection to copyright and patents. It all depends on ones needs and requirements and sometimes on the capital and priorities of the organisation. 

If a business is seeking patent protection in different countries, the Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT may be considered. It is an international filing mechanism that allows the applicant to file a single patent application that is valid in some or 146 countries which are its members. Applicant has to simply request an examination in each country and the applicant will be evaluated for the patent in that particular country.

In the same way, if a business is seeking trademark protection in different countries, the applicant must consider filing an application under the Madrid Protocol. It is an international trademark filing mechanism that allows the applicant to file an application that is valid in some or 88 different countries which are its members. 

In this way, most of the hassle is sorted out for the business and they find one-stop destination for all their business needs. This saves time, money and the complexities involved in the process. 

Businesses trading internationally may or may not claim for Intellectual Property rights as it totally depends on their requirements, needs and the current circumstances of their business. If it is required, the processes have become very smooth and more productive. The cost involved are a one-time cost and protects you for many years which enables one to have ample amount of time to think about the growth and stability of ones business rather than being concerned of infringement of his ideas being stolen in the international market.

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