How do I register my trademark, patent, or copyright abroad?
Patents and trademarks are territorial and must be applied for in each country where protection is sought. A U.S. patent or trademark does not afford protection in another country. For more information on how to apply for individual patents or trademarks in a foreign country, contact the intellectual property office in that country directly. A list of contact information for most intellectual property offices worldwide can be found here (link is external).
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (link is external) (PCT) streamlines the process of filing patents in multiple countries. By filing one patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), U.S. applicants can concurrently seek protection in up to 146 (link is external) countries (as of Feb. 2013).
For information about filing an international patent application under the PCT, visit the USPTO website (link is external).
Watch an introductory video on Patent Cooperation Treaty (USPTO) (link is external).The Madrid Protocol (link is external) makes it easier to file for trademark registration in multiple countries. By filing one “international” trademark registration application with the USPTO, U.S. applicants can concurrently seek protection in up to 88 (link is external) countries (as of Feb. 2013). For information about filing an international trademark registration application under the Madrid Protocol, visit the USPTO (link is external) website.
Watch an introductory video on Overview of Trademarks (USPTO) (link is external) including the Madrid Protocol.
Although most countries do not require copyright registration in order to enjoy copyright protection, registration can offer several benefits, such as proof of ownership. The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other’s citizens’ and businesses’ copyrights. However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country. A listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States is available here (link is external).
Watch an introductory video on Copyright: Encouraging and Protecting Creativity (USPTO) (link is external).
If you feel that you have been the victim of an intellectual property crime, you can report the crime by clicking on the button to the left, calling the IPR Center at 1-866-IPR-2060, or contacting a field office of the FBI (link is external). To help you determine what to do when reporting an intellectual property crime, see DOJ’s “Reporting Intellectual Property Crime: A (link is external)Guide for Victims of Counterfeiting, Copyright Infringement, and Theft of Trade Secrets.” (link is external) DOJ also has created sample checklists that identify the information you will need to provide when referring copyright infringement and trademark (link is external)offenses (link is external) and theft of trade secrets (link is external).