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Keep your intellectual property safe across borders

When you get a patent in the United States, you may think that is all you need to do to protect your property. It's not, though, especially if you plan to take your goods overseas or into other countries.

The rights granted by a U.S. patent are only rights within the United States. If you want to protect your intellectual property, you need to apply for a patent in each country in which you wish to have those protections. This can become a time-consuming process, particularly because each country has different laws and regulations that they require you to follow.

It's typically smaller companies that struggle with their intellectual property rights when working in other countries. Fortunately, there are some simple, low-cost options to consider. For instance, working with an attorney versed in patenting and intellectual property law is a good idea if you intend to register your patent in multiple countries. He or she can help you develop a strategy to protect your patent.

Another thing you can do is to record your U.S.-registered trademarks and copyrights with Customs and Border Protection, so it is aware of your rights and can look out for infringement. It's important to find out which countries are most likely to infringe on your patents and then to take steps to register and secure your patents in those locations.

Our website has more on patents and what you can do to protect your interests. Whether you plan to stay in the U.S. or work overseas, having multiple patents is in your best interests if you plan to expand.

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