International IP Protection
International Intellectual Property Protection
Providing southern hospitality with an international reach, Patterson Intellectual Property Law is centered in the heart of Music City — Nashville, Tennessee while providing global intellectual property protection. We are proud of Nashville’s commitment to arts and innovation as well as its welcoming business culture, and we strive to offer that genuine hospitality and service to our clients across the world.
Our firm provides worldwide services for intellectual property protection, helping clients secure international patents and trademark protection, obtain ITC § 337 injunctions blocking importation of counterfeit goods, manage international licensing with foreign partners and manufacturers, and more.
International Patent Protection
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a multinational patent law treaty that provides a unified process for filing patent applications in multiple countries simultaneously. The PCT is a filing system, meaning that each country that accepts a PCT application grants their own patent. There is no internationally enforceable patent, but inventors can seek country-specific patent protection using a single, consolidated process. PCT applications can be advantageous to applicants, often reducing cost and extending the deadline for filing compared to filing in each country separately.
Our attorneys are intimately familiar with the PCT filing process and frequently advise clients regarding the PCT application process. We can help clients strategize where and whether to file as well as prosecute the PCT application. We also work with foreign counsel to ensure your patents are protected as broadly as possible.
Global Trademark Protection
While there is no single international trademark process, an international treaty known as the Madrid Protocol allows trademark owners to seek registration in any of the member countries by filing a single international application. International applications are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in Geneva, Switzerland.
If the application is approved, then it is submitted to the various trademark approval entities in each applied-for jurisdiction. An international application under the Madrid Protocol can provide several benefits to trademark owners seeking recognition of their trademark rights worldwide. The process can result in significantly lower application fees, and the filing can be made in a single language as opposed to requiring translation for each individual country.
Patterson has helped clients obtain and enforce their trademarks worldwide. Our trademark attorneys have broad experience with the Madrid Protocol and can advise on international applications and enforcement.
There may not be a universal body for intellectual property enforcement, however, countries have various mechanisms for IP enforcement and misuse prevention. A key system in the United States is International Trade Commission (ITC), aka Section 337 actions. These investigations prohibit the importation and sale of any articles in the United States which infringe on any U.S. patent, trademark, or copyright or otherwise constitute unfair competition.
Investigations are brought by IP rightsholders before the ITC to block the importation of infringing materials, such as counterfeit goods. If an ITC investigation claim is successful, the U.S. Customs Service is instructed to block and prevent the importation of those goods at U.S. ports. These investigations can be powerful enforcement tools for preventing the spread of counterfeit or knock-off goods. They can also pose significant challenges to resellers, importers, and logistics companies if they find their goods subject to a Section 337 claim.
Patterson’s attorneys have significant experience with ITC investigations, both in enforcement and defense. We frequently assist clients with managing claims offensively and defensively, including managing Section 337 claims as part of a comprehensive enforcement strategy worldwide. We also work alongside corporate and foreign counsel to ensure our clients have the most effective global IP protection strategy for their business objectives.