Taking IP Global

If your business strategy is aimed at taking a global approach to protecting and commercialising your IP you should carefully consider where you would generate the best returns and whether you have the resources to successfully protect your IP and commercialise it in countries outside of Ireland.

Before entering a foreign market, it’s important to ensure your IP is protected in the relevant country or region.

It’s also important to understand IP protection in the country you would like to establish your market position to ensure you don’t infringe on existing IP in that country.

When developing your business strategy you should consider the following issues:

  • Is your IP protected outside of Ireland?
  • Are there commercial opportunities which will allow exploitation of your IP and associated products outside of Ireland?
  • Where are your markets?
  • Do you have the manufacturing, marketing and distribution resources and capabilities to export and sell in countries outside of Ireland? If not, would you be better off entering into a licensing agreement which would allow you to outsource production, marketing and distribution.
  • Should you consider a joint venture with another company?
  • Protecting IP aborad can be costly so do you have the financial resources to protect your IP outside of Ireland?
  • Do you have the financial resources to successfully commercialise outside of Ireland? If not, can you obtain the financial capital to protect the IP and commercialise?
  • Having knowledge of the various routes which allow you to obtain IP  protection abroad can assist with your IP business strategy by allowing you to make more informed decisions and can also help you establish your market position and ensure you don’t infringe on existing IP in that country.

European IPR Helpdesk Guide to IP in Europe

This guide aims at providing answers to some of the main IP issues often faced by SMEs.

EU IPR Guide Europe.pdf

More information on patent protection abroad

More information on trade mark protection abroad

More information on design protection abroad

Doing business in China

With a population of 1.4 billion people, China presents enormous opportunities for Irish business. If you are considering expanding your manufacturing or export/sales business into China, safeguarding your intellectual property (IP) should be one of your primary considerations.  Chinese legislation governing the administration and enforcement of IP rights can be different to those in Ireland or Europe.

The IDA and Enterprise Ireland have offices in China and can provide advice about doing business in China.  Enterprise Ireland has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and has published the “Access China “ Guide  which gives practical information on the Chinese market for Irish companies.

EU Guide to doing business in China.pdf

In addition to its guide on managing IPR’s in China, the China IPR SME Helpdesk  provides a range of sectoral specific guides which are intended to provide useful information but are not a substitute for specialist legal advice from an IP professional.

IPR Helpdesk business-focused guides, factsheet, case studies  and training materials on China IPR issues are all downloadable from the China IPR SME Helpdesk online portal


A first to market strategy

Having considered these important issues you should also consider whether a strategy of being first into the market would be of benefit.  The first to market strategy can be an effective option if you can move quickly and by so doing effectively capture the market for your product before any competitors can challenge your dominant position.  However, there can also be considerable disadvantages as a result of moving rapidly and not obtaining any or inadequate IP protection.  This can allow competitors to develop improved, superior and less expensive products technology very quickly and without infringing your IP.