Patents & Trade Secrets


Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs


Lesson Info

Patents & Trade Secrets

The next thing I want to just talk to you about real quickly is just cover patents and trade secrets. Now I find that there are less businesses out there, you know, as entrepreneurs, a lot of us air creatives maybe some of us have inventions, but probably not all of us. I think copyright and trademark are bigger issues for us as small businesses in sort of the internet world in the sort of creative entrepreneurs world. But I wanted to cover this as well, because this might affect you in your business or it might affect something that you want to do in your business. So I just want you to understand what pay patents and trade secrets are these air, other these air, other intellectual property elements. So trade secrets are proprietary information such as methods, programs, strategies or formulas that give each business its competitive edge in the marketplace. Ok, so let me give you an example of my client who has trade secrets, so have a client who creates a cheese product. The name of ...

her business is correct delights, and she creates this cheese spread that is sort of inspired by her home country in the caribbean. So she has a special recipe that she developed with, you know, professional chef to come up with the recipe for this special cheese spread that she sells now that recipe for that she's spread is actually a trade secret right? She doesn't want to register the copyright for it because then she would be sharing the rest of people all of her competitors because you can't register it without actually telling the copyright office what it isthe right? So this is how you know if you have, you know a recipe or formula or some type of proprietary method sometimes the way to protect it what makes sense is to just have it as a trade secret and so how do you actually protect a trade secret? The great thing is that's not super expensive and it's not doesn't require it of register it with, you know like a federal database instead what you're going to do is just limit the amount of people that know that trade secret right? So in her business she limits the amount of people that know that recipe maybe her chef knows the recipe maybe her cold press manufacturer sorry cold packer manufacturer knows the recipe but not everybody who works in the business is going to know the recipe maybe the marketing team doesn't need to know it. Her operations manager, for example, may not need to know it her receptionist doesn't need to know us you limit the amount of people within the company who know that secret and that's how you prove to a court or anywhere else that it's a trade secret then the other thing you're going to do is make sure that any employees you have or independent contractors you have signed an agreement saying that they will not disclose your trade secrets. Okay, so you make sure that that's a part of your agreements, that it's, you know, a confidentiality clause that would be in your agreement that limits, you know, how any employee or contractor can share that information, and if they do, they're liable to you for a lot of money. Okay, so, that's, how you protect trade secrets, the other thing that you would do is make you know, so your employees and contractors will have a nondisclosure clause included in their agreements, and then if you were going to do business with somebody and they needed to know this trade secret in order, determine whether you can do business or not, you'd have them signed a non disclosure agreement, and we're going to talk about non disclosure agreements in a little while. So that's trade secrets. Another example is like coca cola. Their recipe for coca cola is a trade secret. It's not registered anywhere. It's just kept as a secret within the company on d so that their competitors can't then create the exact same formula okay s o a patent. Is an exclusive right preventing anyone else from making using or selling the patented product or process in the united states for a specified period of time so you'll see this is kind of interesting for a patent when you register a patton you're not registering sort of the right to create that product you're registering the right to prevent other people from creating that product right? So that gives you the exclusive right to manufacture or produce that a particular product or that particular invention on dso this could cover software any any sort of invention you could there's also something called design patents where you're protecting the particular design you've probably seen, you know, toasters that had like a fancy designer target designed by michael graves he's you know, a well known designer and he designed in this line of, you know, household products that you know he's not hey doesn't own the patent for toasters, but he owns the patent for his particular design of that kind of toaster ok, so that's what a design patent covers, you know dyson vacuums that's a utility patents so that would be covering the way it works, the fact that it has this special ball and the suction and all of that, you know, the way it actually functions that's what you're protecting with a utility patents so that's just on basics about patents do you understand what it is you know, for an example, to register a patent, you'll probably expect to pay around fifteen thousand dollars in legal fees. Eso it's. Not cheap, but it can be very lucrative. If you've got a great invention on dh, you can also you don't even have to license it, so you can just registered the patent, and then you can. You know, I'm sorry. You don't even have to produce that. You have to manufacture the product. You, khun license the privilege to manufacture the products. And so the patent is something that you concern, sell a license to and generate a lot of revenue for yourself. And if you watched our tank, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So I just want to make sure you have a full understanding of intellectual property. And so now you have some basics on copyright, trademarks and patents and trade secrets.

Class Description

In order to succeed, every entrepreneur needs a strong understanding of how intellectual property laws affect his or her work. Do you have what it takes to be your own best advocate?

Join Rachel Rodgers and learn the intellectual property concepts every small business owner should know. You’ll learn how content marketing can expand your brand, and how to ensure that your brand, content, and ideas are protected.

Drawing on her experience as an attorney, Rachel will demystify potentially confusing concepts like patents, trade secrets, and more. You’ll leave this class ready to defend your business and grow it to new heights.


Julz P

Very good, covers all topics very well. I enjoyed learning about licensing, as a small business owner I never thought about it and how it could create another revenue stream. Thank you!

Andrew Clark

Just watching a "free" preview; Rachel seems very thorough about this much needed to know subject. Thank you Rachel and I hope you continue to offer more legal type courses for us creatives!!!