Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With rapid globalization, multinational companies (MNCs) have focused on expanding their reach in new markets across the globe. Since each of these markets has unique sociocultural nuances, MNCs often try to modify their product offerings based on market demand.
However, from an intellectual property (IP) perspective, there are certain risks associated with taking a consumer product to a new market. For companies that intend to launch their consumer products in new markets, here are some steps to follow to prevent any hiccups or serious complications:
1. Understand the market interest
Before venturing into a new market, it is necessary to understand the market interest for your consumer product. Gaining knowledge about the IP filings of your competitors in your target market can be a useful method of evaluating their level of interest in the same domain. For instance, you can study the patent, design and trademark trends in the last 10 years in your target market to know the level of interest in a particular domain.
2. List down active IPs
By performing a Freedom to Operate (FTO) search, you can identify the different active patents that exist in your target market. Thereafter, you can compare the identified patents with your products to check whether you are infringing on any of those patents.
3. Check the level of infringement
Understanding the level up to which your consumer product may infringe upon the existing patents in the new market is also an essential part of the required due diligence. An FTO search (also known as an infringement analysis and clearance search) helps in checking whether a particular product is infringing on any active patents. For performing such an analysis, you can seek help from external IP service providers who have relevant experience in your new target market.
4. Secure licenses, if necessary
A comprehensive infringement analysis helps you in understanding whether or not you need to obtain a patent license. In case you discover that your product might infringe on another entity’s patent(s), it is advisable to secure a license and avoid being embroiled in IP litigation.
Besides this, if the results of your infringement analysis show that a smaller company already has a patent that your consumer product might infr
Read more from the original source:
How to Use Intellectual Property to Launch Your Product in a New Market