Exporting Requires Formal Agreements

When considering exporting to overseas markets, you need to protect yourself legally. It’s critical that your business relationship with the overseas entity representing you is recorded in an agreement. Furthermore, you also need to take the appropriate measures to protect your intellectual assets before entering any overseas markets.

Representation Agreement

Representation in overseas markets comes in a lot of forms. Based on the kind of business you’re in, you could be asked to employ a local agent, agent, salaried/commission-based sales employees, employ a distributor or enter into a joint venture. No Matter which arrangement you Choose, you will need to ensure
Your business connection is fully recorded using an official agreement.

Standard Legal Agreement

When you’re ready to begin a business relationship with a foreign thing, you need to check with a lawyer that specializes in international law. The next standard arrangement clauses should be taken into consideration when drawing up the agreement with your lawyer.

  1. Arrangement date
  2. Parties in the arrangement
  3. Purpose of the arrangement
  4. Definitions
  5. Products/services marketed under the arrangement
  6. Buy/sell terms and conditions (payment method, shipping method and lead-time)
  7. Territory (region, country and city)
  8. Representation type (exclusive or non-exclusive)
  9. Duties of vendor
  10. Duties of representing thing
  11. Pricing, discounts, incentives and compensations
  12. Orders, inventory and forecast requirements
  13. Marketing and marketing (marketing strategies, marketing materials, product literature, rights to reproductions and sales assistance)
  14. Reporting duties (foreign laws and regulations, recordkeeping, reports, annual statements, market intelligence, product recalls, trade of adverse event information)
  15. Limits on representing entity
  16. Intellectual property rights (acknowledgment, notices, trademarks and title, third party claims and breach of intellectual property rights)
  17. Term of agreement (date agreement is set to expire or renew, subject to certain conditions)
  18. Agreement renewal terms
  19. Termination and causes for termination of arrangement
  20. Post arrangement termination duties and responsibilities for each party
  21. Warranty, indemnification and limitations of liability for both parties
  22. Confidentiality
  23. Law regulating the arrangement
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Bear in mind that many companies you’re contemplating working with internationally will nearly always ask”exclusive” status so as to advertise your services or products. It may or might not be advantageous to initially grant”exclusive” status. Should you choose granting it, you might choose to restrict it to a trial period of six to 12 weeks, to be renewed for a period of one to three years if certain conditions are satisfied, such as sales quotas. Or perhaps you postpone awarding it entirely for a period of six to 12 months before certain conditions are satisfied by originally granting”non-exclusive” status. You might even want to think about dividing the land into two or more areas and assigning somebody to every region.

Intellectual Property (Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights)

Before you export to international markets you have to make certain your intellectual assets are fully protected in these markets. There’s absolutely not any such thing as a global trademark or patent. Just because you’ve registered a trademark or patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t mean that you are protected outside america as well. This is a large misconception. In actuality, you have to register your intellectual property in every country you intend on conducting business . It might be costly but surely worth the investment if the possibility of intellectual property infringement arise. Though many developed countries enforce their intellectual property legislation, the simple fact remains that certain developing nations simply don’t follow suit.


When registering your signature internationally, you should start with the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, which operates under the Madrid Agreement of 1891 and the Madrid Protocol of 1989. It’s administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), located in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 80 nations are members of the Madrid Union. If the state of interest isn’t listed, then you’ll have to hire a neighborhood intellectual property lawyer in that country to document for your benefit.

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After conducting a trademark search beyond america, I suggest using Thomson CompuMark. This company is a pioneer in international trademark research, and it claims to keep the world’s largest collection of international trademark information.

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When enrolling your patent internationally, you should begin with WIPO for aid. WIPO administers the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which provides for the filing of a single international patent application; this has the exact same effect as national applications filed in the designated countries. An applicant seeking protection may file a single application and ask protection in as many signatory states (countries) as required. In certain areas, a regional patent office, by way of instance the European Patent Office (EPO) or the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), accepts regional patent applications, or grants patents, which have the identical effect as applications registered, or patents granted, in the member nations of the area.


According to WIPO, copyright does not rely on official procedures. A created work is considered protected by copyright when it exists. According to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, literary and artistic works are protected with no formalities in the states party to this convention. Thus, WIPO doesn’t provide any sort of copyright registration system.

However, many nations have a national copyright office, and a few national laws allow for registration of functions for the purposes of, for instance, identifying and distinguishing titles of works. In certain countries, registration may also serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes regarding copyright.

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You need a concrete strategy to protect yourself before tackling international markets. Without the appropriate legal arrangement in place with the thing representing you in a foreign market, or without the proper registration of your intellectual property from the nation you plan on conducting business , you might end up unnecessarily exposed.

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