Last week the Firm’s attorneys, Ed Sisson and Jeffrey Banyas, participated in the inaugural Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Export Fair at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. The first of its kind event for automotive suppliers looking to grow their business and expand into other markets was co-sponsored by the United States Department of Commerce.

Ed and Jeffrey both participated in pre-arranged confidential meetings with SEMA members to discuss their intellectual property issues. Additionally, Ed was asked to participate in a panel discussion on protecting intellectual property in foreign markets.

Reflecting on the experience, Jeffrey Banyas commented that,

It was clear to me that SEMA members are thirsty for more information about how to protect their businesses, particularly when they are entering new markets. Taking the business into a new country or a new region is an exciting proposition, but it also presents unique challenges. One of those challenges is protecting the businesses technology and brand image in the new market. It was great to see so many companies taking a proactive approach and seeking out information on protecting themselves and their intellectual property.

Ed Sisson added,

There was a consistent message from the panel members – making the legal aspects part of the marketing plan before introducing the product into the market is essential to protecting profits and combating knock-offs. The annual SEMA show in November is where new products are launched and the group received a clear message from the panel to see an attorney before launching the product. Publicly disclosing a product before seeking legal protection makes it very difficult, if not impossible to obtain certain types of protection in the U.S. and around the world.

Ed and Jeffrey look forward to participating in similar discussions during the Education Days at the annual SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in November. For more information on Ed and Jeffrey’s appearance at the SEMA Show, please visit SEMA’s website.