In today’s highly competitive globalized market, Intellectual Property is one of the most valuable assets a company can have. However, merely possessing knowledge is not enough, companies need to the ability to protect their IP rights. The United States is one of the world’s most adamant protectors of Intellectual Property as well as the world’s largest market for protected goods making it an inviting market for companies looking to expand outside of their home country.
The United States receives nearly a million patent and trademark applications each year and of those the United States Trademark and Patent Office issues over 80,000 new patents and over 300,000 new trademarks each year. The United States is the most popular source of international patent filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, accounting for one-third of the total applications. Access to protection of business assets is cost-effective and uncomplicated. The United States goes far beyond most other countries when it comes to IP protection. Types of protection include patents (for inventions), trademarks (for brands), and copyrights (for creative materials).
Laws without enforcement, however, are useless. Luckily, the United States also excels at enforcing its IP statutes. From Metallica suing Napster in court, to the IP war between Google and co.’s Android phones and Apple’s iPhone, to the governments recent sting on file sharing site Megaupload, the United States has one of the most visible IP protection systems in the world. Piracy and counterfeiting is combated through criminal persecutions, rights holders can file civil lawsuits to recover monetary damages, and customs measures such as seizure of illegal goods by border authorities. These and other enforcement techniques ensure valuable IP resources are protected.
Swedish Intellectual Property in the United States
The United States is extremely friendly to foreign intellectual property rights protection. Over 167,000 patents were granted by the U.S. Patent Office in 2009, and of those over 50% of the applications were from a foreign country. Sweden is already well known for its highly innovative nature. From 1977 to 2010, over 37,000 patents were filed by Swedish citizens with the United States. In 2010 alone there were 1594.Swedenis home to the Nobel Prizes, founded by Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the most prestigious awards in the science community that span fields from physics to economics. Sweden invests approximately 3% of its GDP in research, among the highest rates in the world.
On the National Innovation Capacity Index, an indexing of countries’ innovation potential,Swedenwas ranked eighth out of 173 nations. For the past 15 yearsSwedenhas the second-fastest growth rate in the world of number of patents per capita.Sweden’s capacity for innovation and theUnited States’ IP policies present an opportunity for Swedish businesses looking to expand overseas.
For information on how the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce can help your business enter the United States: email email@example.com or visit the website at sacc-usa.org
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