Protecting your IP overseas

June 29, 2012

Did you know that the rights granted under the IP laws in Australia are only valid within Australia? If you are thinking of expanding your business to offshore buyers and have launched a website, you may want to think of how you can protect your intellectual property overseas.

It is also worthwhile to explore if you would infringe any existing IP rights by entering a specific overseas market. It would be futile if you cannot use or protect your IP because it is already registered in the target market.

Before launching into exporting goods to overseas buyers it is best to seek IP protection in each country according to the current laws of that country. A lot of countries are parties to international treaties and conventions; therefore obtaining IP protection in member countries is not so difficult. However, once you apply for protection in one country, such as Australia, you need to act quickly in order to obtain protection in another country, as time restraints apply in between applications. For instance, an application for protection for designs and trademarks in other member countries have to be made within 6 months from the date of the first application. Similarly, protection for patents should be made within 12 months.

Protecting your IP can be complex and if not handled correctly it could lead to very costly consequences. Therefore, it is best to seek advice from an IP layers before starting a business that involves exporting goods overseas.

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