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International Considerations > International Considerations - Pg. 164

A Primer on Intellectual Property 164 The trade secret concept is relatively new to many countries, if it exists at all. It is therefore doubly important to avoid disclosure where possible, have all recipients sign NDAs that have been reviewed by foreign counsel, plaster notices of confidentiality all over materials, and educate any employees or contractors about trade secret protection. Note CAUTION In ventures where royalties arepaid in exchange for tradesecrets, some countries limitthe amount of royalties andduration of the royalty period.Check these limits before executing any such agreements. Copyrights U.S. copyrights are valid in many overseas nations thanks to the Berne Convention treaty. Copyright notices should be placed on all materials and media. Local registration in Berne Convention nations is not necessary, but it may provide certain legal benefits like greater money awards in litigation. In the U.S., a company can own a copyright, but some countries afford ownership to individuals only. Finally, the U.S. has very limited "moral rights" in created property, but some countries give the author the right to object to any modification of the work that would prejudice or compromise the author's honor. This has been used to hold development hostage until money could be found to assuage the author's honor; be sure your foreign counsel reviews your NDAs and invention as- signment agreements to prevent such cheap chicanery. While the copyrights may be valid overseas, vigorous enforcement is another matter. It is extremely expensive to enforce copyrights overseas, usually requiring the retention of local agencies special- izing in anti-piracy measures. This is generally only cost-effective at a very high level of success. U.S. Customs agents work to intercept pirated goods here and abroad, but they can only catch so much of the traffic in pirated goods.