While intellectual property laws vary from country to country, the process of licensing, the money-making side, operates the same. As does the registration process for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Several agreements between the US and other countries enable the concurrent registration of patents and trademarks in multiple countries with one set of documents. The same holds true for copyrights. The US has registration relationships with many countries around the world that provides for automatic recognition of copyright works of authors.
Government resources are also similar. For example, in the US, it is the Patent and Trademark Office and the Copyright Office. In other countries you find similar types of government organizations, such as Intellectual Property Australia or UK Intellectual Property. All of these government bodies support the development and commercialization of intellectual property.
Even licensing agreements have become standardized. Today, you can find all types of licensing agreements for patents, trademarks, copyrights and technologies that can be used in multiple countries. I’ve worked with many licensing agreements that were the same format for Europe and the US. This is a big reason why licensing can operate just about anywhere in the world.
While at the studios, I developed numerous international licensing deals. The most common deal was for English speaking territories (that is US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). In these cases, the licensees were leveraging the revenue opportunities both in the US and internationally.
Because licensing is global, there are no boundaries. There are inventors and companies with intellectual properties for new products, services and technologies all around the world and you never know what the next hot “intellectual property” will be. Through the licensing process, you can tap into IP in other regions of the world, and create international partnerships.
Licensing is a global industry and is growing around the world. More intellectual properties are available today than at any other time. Many countries that, just a decade ago, were not active in developing and licensing intellectual property are now becoming new markets for finding and licensing intellectual property. Today the Internet enables anybody to license anywhere in the world without having to physically travel. In fact, most of the licensing process can be done today with a computer, phone and email.