I’m back from a trip to Mexico, and I snapped this shot to share with you. This shoe brand logo looks strikingly similar to Nike’s, doesn’t it?
Every time I travel to another country, I’m shocked by the infringements and counterfeits I see of US brands. So many of us business owners are focused on protecting our companies from Intellectual Property theft here within the country… but how about globally? Maybe its not on the forefront of your mind, but nevertheless, it’s a huge concern.
The truth is that many of us promote our businesses online, so there is typically some global aspect or reach of our operations, products, or creations. So, it makes sense to protect what you’ve created both in the US and abroad.
There are ways to do this cost-effectively, even if you are small business. In fact, depending on the stage your business is in, you may already have trademark or intellectual property rights. For example, if your business is already selling products or services using a unique symbol, phrase, or word, and there are no other similar businesses using them, you may have existing common law trademark rights.
That doesn’t cover you totally and completely from infringements, but it can be a good start. From there, you can work with an intellectual property attorney like myself to build on this foundational piece to make sure all the bases are covered here in the States. Then, you can put plans in place to ensure your business is protected from infringements abroad. The importance of doing it now is that it will cost you a lot less to fight or litigate intellectual property issues if you spot them down the road.
I encourage you this month to take an “audit” of your intellectual property. It’s something you should do regularly, as the offerings and creations of your business are always subject to change. If you uncover any areas of concern, give me a call and we’ll schedule a time for you to come in and meet with me for a consultation.