International companies can sometimes offer good prices on services. Case in point: Rider McDowell of Knight-McDowell Labs, in Carmel, Calif., wanted to trademark the name of several products. Friends referred him to a San Francisco law firm, whose eye-popping fee for a U.S. trademark was nearly $15,000, with more charges for registration in other countries. But while visiting Vancouver, McDowell contacted a local company, Dean Palmer Intellectual Property Law, and asked for a price quote on trademarking. Palmer's fee was 75% less than the U.S. firm's. And the Canadian company could handle international trademarks to boot. "It was great," says McDowell. "I spent, total, about $15,000 for registration in 22 countries," including China, Switzerland, and Brazil.