Intellectual Property Rights and Your Brand

twig street

Quite often, when business people think about intellectual property rights (IPR) and entering a new market, they tend to focus on patents and copyrights. However, their first concern really should be for the protection of their trademark – the words, names, and symbols that comprise a brand.

Companies spend an incredible amount of money and energy in developing their brand and the trademarks that represent that brand; when trademark protection in a market is inadequate, the company loses from both brand perception and monetary standpoints. In fact, Shultz and Saporito (1996) estimate that US firms lose $200 million a year to overseas counterfeits.

Gillespie, Kishore, and Jarvis (2001) point to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement developed during the Uruguay Round of the WTO trade talks as having the potential of bringing a minimum standard of trademark protection for companies considering international expansion.

One of the…

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