Every U.K. company who enters the American market should take tangible steps to protect their
brand and intellectual property rights. Often, this step is simply overlooked and can lead to some
very negative outcomes. For example, failure to clarify how an American agent or distributor
uses your brand or failure to clarify ownership of intellectual property rights (trademarks, trade
names, domain names, etc.) can lead to nasty disputes. You can't effectively monetize your
brand and intellectual property rights if these rights have been compromised or lost.
Contact me if you'd like to discuss how to monetize your American strategy.
I've recently worked with a British consumer goods company who wanted to begin selling its
products in the United States. Since a substantial portion of their goods were either manufactured
or assembled in the Far East, they were interested in considering ports located on both the Pacific
coast and the Northeastern coast for their initial distribution facility.
The company's primary focus was on ensuring efficient logistical systems and finding a pool of
experienced customs house brokers who had substantial experience with consumer products and
shipments. In addition, proximity to their target market was a significant factor.
We were able to immediately rule out several locations. For example, since the company had no
immediate interest in accessing the South American countries, there was no reason to consider a
distribution facility in Miami.
We also considered a range of business relationships (appointment of an agent or distributor,
joint venture, establishing a distribution facility) for their initial entry. Ultimately, the company's
principals decided to enter the U.S. on a very conservative basis and test the market for their
consumer products on an incremental region-by-region basis.
Finally, we discussed the steps that would be necessary to register and protect their distinctive
brands in the United States.
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