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Exporters: Protect Your Innovations!

March 21, 2016

Mary Lynn Landgraf is a Senior International Trade Specialist with ITA’s Office of Textiles and Apparel

Exporters and future exporters, take heed: your most valuable business asset is your intellectual property (IP), which includes everything from the devices you invent to the logos and brand names you use in marketing your products.  In today’s global marketplace, protecting your IP is a critical component of ensuring future growth in sales, particularly for companies exhibiting at trade shows such as the upcoming Hannover Messe Trade Show.

stopfakes.gov

stopfakes.gov

Here are four easy-to-navigate websites that any company can use before venturing overseas to ensure that valuable IP resources are protected.

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers an IP Awareness Assessment tool that helps businesses understand their current level of protection and export readiness, and how an intellectual property strategy may work best for them based on their individual needs.
  • USPTO is also working to launch a national pro bono network with regional bar associations and attorneys to help under-resourced inventors navigate the patent system.
  • USPTO offers an online toolkit for companies that need help understanding patent litigation.
  • STOPfakes) gathers information on numerous U.S. government IP initiatives to improve intellectual property protection and enforcement for U.S. companies in markets around the globe. Of particular note is the Business Tools section, which provides exporters with country-specific information on how to register and protect their patents and trademarks.

For those companies planning to exhibit in Hannover or at any other German trade show, our colleagues in Germany have put together a wonderful page highlighting several additional resources to help you protect your IP.

The above resources will help you to protect your innovations and market your products safely at home and overseas.  I encourage you to visit these websites today – it’s never too soon to take action in protecting your most valuable assets!

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