Do you have to worry about foreign challengers to your IP?

Protecting your intellectual property is difficult enough at home, but eventually you might have to worry about international business rivals as well.

One of the keys to running a profitable business is having control over your intellectual property. If you're selling a product that is yours and uniquely yours, you want legal protections that ensure no one else will infringe upon your idea and cut into your potential profits.

Are you worried about international disputes over IP? You might have to be.

This is hard enough to police within your own neighbourhood – you never know who might be selling a similar product, where or when. It gets even more difficult when you start thinking on a larger scale. Are you worried about international disputes over IP? You might have to be.

North American case sets dangerous precedent

When IP disputes have to be resolved between entities in different nations, the situation can often get messy. For example, Forbes India reported on a case in which the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly went after the Canadian government because they believed the "promise utility doctrine" of Canada's IP regulations violated international law.

IP disputes in North America can easily have an impact on the rest of the world.IP disputes in North America can easily have an impact on the rest of the world.

Cases like this can have an impact on intellectual property law here in Australia. Forbes also noted that in 2011, an Australian coal company went through a long struggle to enforce an award from an IP-related lawsuit in India against Coal India Limited, and international court precedents played a role in complicating the dispute. Because there's such a tangled web of rules and regulations involved, global IP disputes are often far more complex than their domestic counterparts.

Why international disputes can be tougher

IP Australia notes that there are myriad reasons international IP issues might be a struggle to resolve. One is the variance in IP laws among different nations, and on that same note, varying rules regarding business structures are a complicating factor as well.

Even if you have a clear case against an infringer, the logistics of bringing that case to court can be messy internationally. The simple act of identifying and summonsing the infringer can be a nightmare. It should come as no surprise that business leaders often reach out to patent lawyers in Sydney for help with figuring out these issues.

Luckily, at Alder IP, we're happy to step in and provide professional help with these cases when you need it most. We have a team of experts on IP services in Sydney who can provide guidance with all things patent-related, ranging from applying for patent protection to later identifying rivals who try to infringe on your IP. Talk to us today to find out more.