4. Apply for IP rights abroad
Each country has its own set of intellectual property (IP) laws. They must be followed in the formal IP protection process. Even when you use an international application system, each country will examine the international application under its own specific IP laws.
Methods for applying for IP abroad
There are 2 ways of applying for IP rights abroad:
Method 1: Apply directly with the IP office in the destination country
Apply directly through the IP office of the target country where you are seeking IP protection. An IP professional can assist in navigating the local system of the target country.
Method 2: Use an international application system
Using an international application system can save both time and money when you apply for IP rights in multiple countries. An IP professional can provide guidance and an idea of the potential cost savings.
The following resources can help you learn more about how to apply though an international application system:
- Trademarks: International Trademarks under the Madrid Protocol
- Patents: Patent Cooperation Treaty Kit
- Industrial designs: International industrial design registration using the Hague System
- Copyright: Copyright is automatically established when a work is created. Canada and more than 170 other countries have signed the Berne Convention, which deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. There is no international copyright registration system or requirement for formal registration, but a voluntary registration of works can make it easier to prove your ownership if a dispute arises. Therefore, most countries have a system in place to allow for the formal copyright registration.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) international protection (WIPO)
- WIPO-Administered Treaties (WIPO)
- Treaties in force and signed by Canada (Canadian Intellectual Property Office [CIPO])
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (WTO)
- Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) e-Filing (CIPO)
- PCT form (WIPO)
- Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program (CIPO)