According to UK trade statistics the UK’s trade with the USA is worth around £23.5 billion and certainly for most of our clients the USA is frequently a target market for exports.
The fact that the USA is a wealthy, well populated country with a sophisticated marketplace who speak English, makes it a number one target for many of our technology company clients.
However, the USA is also notoriously protective of its own industries and business in general which can make it a challenge to get products and services into competitive areas. It is also a market in which it is VITAL to protect your IP!
Here are my 5 top business tips if you’re thinking of exporting to the USA:
- If you are about to export or are already exporting your brand to the USA, then make sure you apply for a trade mark over in the USA. You must do this via a local professional and the cost can be quite expensive. However, as in many countries registration is the best way to protect your brand and brand is everything in the USA.
- In the USA IP laws can be surprisingly different. For example if you only want patent protection in the USA you can put your technology in the public domain for up to year and still get patent protection over there. Doing that in Europe would render your technology not novel when it comes to patenting and would mean that you’re unlikely to get a patent.
- In the USA, unlike Europe, it is possible to register patents for software and business methods. In certain circumstances some software is patentable in Europe but there are strict limitations to what cover you can get. Some European businesses register business method and software patents only in the USA for strategic reasons.
- Again unlike Europe, there is a national register of copyright works in the US and many businesses are advised to register important copyright material.
- Whilst it is not mandatory to identify your IP rights on goods in either Europe or the USA, notification of your IP rights in the US can mean you get higher damages in Court in the case of infringement.
Speak With An Expert…
As with everything speak to an expert if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
We have a number of contacts who will help you if you need further specific advice or US contracts, just drop me an email.