As more U.S. businesses and those from other countries seek expansion into foreign markets, intellectual property rights are a key concern. How do other countries govern in this area, and how can company-owned ideas and plans be protected? How will disputes about intellectual property be settled? Good questions all.
Anticipating the growth in the global economy, more than 20 years ago the World Trade Organization developed the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, or TRIPS. TRIPS is a comprehensive multi-lateral agreement between participating countries to ensure standards, enforcement and dispute settlement when it comes to intellectual property. TRIPS applies to copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, patents, and other undisclosed information including things like test data.
To date, 76 countries – among them India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, Vietnam, the EU, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia – have signed TRIPS to ensure a common understanding of:
- how basic principles of the trading system and other international intellectual property agreements should be applied
- how to give adequate protection for intellectual property rights
- how countries should enforce those rights adequately in their own territories
- how to settle disputes on intellectual property between members of the WTO
- special transitional arrangements during the period when the new system is being introduced
U.S. businesses expanding abroad would be wise to check out TRIPS and consult international law in this area to ensure a full understanding of how their intellectual property can be protected in foreign markets.
If you want to learn more about protecting intellectual property rights when expanding into promising foreign markets, join us at GetGlobal 2016 where our speakers and participants will provide real world examples for how you can make this work for your global success.