Wales Enterprise Day celebrates business expansion. Last year's theme was start-ups becoming scale-ups. This year's is about obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights abroad. Businesses that export, license, manufacture or market their goods and services abroad need to make sure that their brands, designs, technology and creativity are protected outside the United Kingdom and that they have the means to enforce such protection in foreign courts and tribunals.
I discussed those topics in Protecting Intellectual Assets Abroad on 6 Oct 2022 in IP after Brexit and in Protecting your Brands, Designs and Technology Abroad on 21 Oct 2022 in this publication. Essentially a business should seek legal protection for those assets in its markets and in the jurisdictions in which its actual or potential competitors are to be found. That is where a lot of mistakes are made and money is wasted. For instance, many SMEs arrange for their product to be manufactured in China or some other country for distribution in the UK without first obtaining industrial design, patent or trade mark protection in that country, They then wonder why lookalikes flood their export and sometimes even their home markets.
To help businesses to avoid those mistakes I shall chair a hybrid in-person and online seminar on Protecting your Brands, Designs, Technology and Creativity at the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) on 18 November 2022 between 12:15 and 14:00. To protect those assets businesses need to put the following arrangements into place:
- Legal protection in the form of patents, copyrights, trade marks, registered designs and other intellectual property rights in each of their foreign markets and the countries where their competitors are to be found;
- Local teams of lawyers and patent and trade mark attorneys to enforce such protection; and
- Adequate funding for enforcing such protection.
International IP litigation does not come cheap but, fortunately, it is possible to obtain insurance against such expenses. M-SParc will welcome back Ian Wishart a director of Sybaris Special Risks whose company specializes in IP insurance. He has already spoken at M-SParc on litigation insurance for the UK. On Friday he will discuss policies for the EU, USA, China and elsewhere, In countries such as the USA where contingency fees are possible litigation funding is an alternative to IP insurance. Sybaris talks to investors in litigation funding. If there is time, Ian will say a few words about that market,