Why Hiring a Small Firm for International Business is Valuable
Written by: Lawrence A. Maxham of The Maxham Firm (May 2017)
In a world where commerce in products and services is not limited by national borders, a knowledge, or at least a nodding acquaintance, of how and why Intellectual Property (IP) rights beyond the US boundaries may be significant, or even important, is essential.
Over several decades of IP practice on a worldwide basis, I have met and worked with compatriots from many countries. By being involved in national and international patent and trademark organizations, I am comfortable that I personally know nearly everyone with whom I conduct business in nations abroad.
My knowledge of how the systems work in other countries, in general, is a result of interpersonal meetings and conversations with international IP associates. When we discuss the systems of their countries, how they change and are in the process of changing, we make sure to keep up to date on those systems and pass that knowledge on, as may be necessary, to our clients. This constant communication and exchange of information on IP systems with foreign associates helps us with real time updates, which saves our clients time and money.
An example of The Maxham Firm’s international fellowship is our participation with American, British, and Canadian members of the venerable (more than 100 years) Federation Internationale Des Conseils En Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI), or in English, International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys. This year the meeting was held in Coral Gables (Miami), Florida, which brought together 50 IP private practitioners from not only the named three countries but also from Australia, China, Colombia, and Germany. We learned from one another both formally in seminars, and informally at social events, coffee breaks, and meals. These diverse sessions gave us opportunities to discuss current events and information in our respective parts of the world and how our practices will be and are being affected by the aforementioned forces of change. At the same time, we also learned from our own US members, based on their experiences and observations, some matters that affect how we practice on a day-to-day basis.
It is from meetings such as FICPI that I am able to expand my ability to do the best job that I can on behalf of my clients at no cost to them. We believe that our international interpersonal relationships saves our clients time and money because we already have valuable information, and little or no further research and time is required; also, we have long term relationships with our foreign associates from all over the world which makes our communications quick and precise.
During the month of May 2017, we will further explore the ins and outs of foreign patent and trademark filings and how The Maxham Firm can help in navigating these diverse and complex systems.