Learning objective

After reading this component you will have the capability to explain why it is important to protect your Intellectual Property in foreign markets. You will know about the main international laws and regulations that you have to follow when you want to enter into a foreign market with your product or service. The estimated time to go through this component is 30 minutes.


Sooner or later, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate in more than one market selling their products or services or licensing/franchising their intellectual property (IP) rights and know-how beyond their national borders. IP rights, however, are territorial, implying that they are usually only protected in the home country or region where protection has been applied for and obtained. Protecting IP in export markets is therefore crucial so as to enjoy the same benefits of protection abroad as are enjoyed on the domestic market. You should carefully consider applying for IP protection well within time in all countries to which you are likely to export or license your product or service in the foreseeable future.1

Before going into details in this component please have a quick look at component 7.1 where you can study about Intellectual Property Tools.

Does your organization operate in foreign markets already? If yes, have you already registered the IP of your product or service? If not, is it in your short, middle or long term plans to do so?


1 InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 7.2 International Regulations. 2005

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