How Do International IT Firms Protect Their Intellectual Property in Foreign Markets?
In order to grow and become successful, many IT firms choose to branch out abroad. Offering their services to a much wider target audience enables them to grow at a more rapid pace. However, international expansion also poses significant challenges.
One challenge international IT firms particularly face, is protecting their Intellectual property (IP). So, how can they do this and why is it important?
Why protecting Intellectual Property is important
Intellectual property helps to foster innovation. If ideas and property weren’t protected, individuals and businesses wouldn’t be able to enjoy the benefits of their creations. They would spend far less time, effort and money on developing new products and ideas which in turn would be detrimental to the economy.
In the case of IT firms, protecting their IP in foreign markets is crucial if they want to protect their products and services. Innovative products are what make these firms stand out. So, if they aren’t protecting them, they could end up losing the very element that makes them competitive.
Applying for patents in each country of operation
It’s important for IT firms to realise that they need to apply for patents, trademarks and copyright within each country they operate in. This is because different countries have differing regulations and requirements.
The issue of patents and copyright can become quite complex. It can also be a long, drawn-out process. Therefore firms would benefit from the professional legal services of Withers to help them understand the complexities behind protecting their IP.
Registering brand as a trademark
You can take a number of different actions to protect your IP and one you may have forgotten about is your brand. You’ll have registered your business name along with its domain address, but have you registered your brand as trademark? If not, your IP could be at risk.
International businesses develop a lot more attention and you could find another company in a foreign market has a similar brand. If they’re registered both in their country and the UK, you could end up having to completely rebrand yourself.
One of the simplest ways you can protect your IP is through contractual security. This is basically a well put together contract which have clauses covering your IP. They can also include Non-Disclosure agreements.
As you can see, protecting your Intellectual Property as an international IT firm is crucial. Without adequate protection, your innovations could be stolen, and you could end up having to rebrand yourself. You could also find the firm facing legal action if you’re found to have a similar brand or product to another more established company.