How and why do trademarks and global business intersect? Intellectual property is one of the key pillars of entrepreneurship. The use, enforcement and defense of intellectual property comes in many shapes and forms, ranging from how you present your brand to the public (such as your logos, your taglines, your brand aesthetics), to the uniqueness of your products & services. All of these uses have one thing in common: protecting your company’s success & profitability against competition by giving you the legal right to stop anyone else from using your IP in an unauthorized manner, or in a way that diverts revenue from its rightful owner: you.
In the business startup process, trademarks & IP must always be considered as a step. Often, new entrepreneurs will hire lawyers to prepare them for the legal and contractual aspects of their business.
Some business lawyers are just lawyers. Others are more than just attorneys; they are downright business consultants, holding your hand and help you in the business startup and management process, preparing all the legal documents necessary for your business to operate correctly, and setting up the most ideal tax structure for your industry. They are the partners who’ll be by your side to secure amicable terms when the going gets tough.
Trademark Lawyer Houston is one of the law firms that assists with the startup process, with a special focus on setting up your intellectual property portfolio, and helping you develop & grow it into a brand asset that no competitor can ever steal from you, no matter how hard they try.
Their lawyers have a focus on developing truly long-term relationships. They have adapted their experiences with high-profile Silicon Valley clients, to the startup/small business level. When you, the client, are planning what to do next, this firm will be there to help you in your plans – even towards the next step afterwards.
Which brings us to our next topic: Many household-name brands – Nike, McDonald’s, Apple, Google, LinkedIn – are ones that have become household names enough – and their products & services tried-and-true enough – that they are companies whose visions have expanded globally.
At a certain stage in growth, if you’re in a certain category, you may see yourself expanding internationally. Whether or not you’ve developed & registered a domestic portfolio of trademarks and intellectual property, you’ll inevitably want to consider international trademark registration.
Do US trademarks apply internationally?
No. Trademark registration in the United States means that registration and protection is only applicable to use in the United States. It does not automatically award you international protection. If you plan on using your trademarks in outside countries, to have an equally high level of protection means you must also register your trademark within the jurisdiction of those other countries.
If you are planning to go global, the WIPO – a UN agency – offers registration in up to 123 countries, just from one application. Make a mental note the moment you begin envisioning your business providing its product or service in many countries. Why? Because when you register internationally, under what’s called the “Madrid System,” you’ll save a lot of money upfront, compared to when you apply for separate trademark registrations in many different countries. It’s better to plan well in advance than to be spontaneous.
Suggested reading on this topic: Apple, Dell Lawyer Awarded Fulbright in Intellectual Property