Protecting Your Work
now turn to Step four in the intellectual property masterclass. Have you been following along? And hopefully, either you're filling in your notes here, Or if you're like these guys down here, you've got, like, a whole textbook full of notes at this point, which I love s. So, um, now we're up to step four. OK, we've made it. We've came really, really far, right? We've gotten almost all the way through the intellectual property audit. And so now we're gonna talk about how to actually protect your I p. So I'm gonna teach you a little bit of intellectual property law, um, and how you actually go about doing this stuff? Okay, so let's dive in. So of course you know, as I have sort of mentioned throughout, but I really want to just reiterate and drive the point home that before you actually start profiting from your I p. You should be protecting it. Okay, So that means that if you got a course that you're launching soon, you should register the copyright for that before you launch that cours...
e. Okay. Always be protecting your I p before you start sharing it with the world. And this is something that a highly recommend for, like photographers, For example, for photographers, you are generating tons of photos all the time. Right? So you take those photos and you register the copyright for all those photos. You could do up to 750 photos. You can register up to 750 of your photos with the copyright office in one application for 35 bucks. OK, so that's great. That's easy. Um, so make sure you're taking this step to register the copyright for your content. Okay, so copyright is covering your original creative works, So that would be your photos, your videos and audio recordings. The content on your blog's. If you're blogging, you should be registering your block, and you would also do it like a sort of on a regular basis. So if you're always creating new articles and writing new stuff that's appearing on your block on, you know the regular, then you need to register your blob regularly, right? So you could register everything that's on your blood right now and then every quarter, for example, you'd register all the new content that you've added to the blawg. You know, every quarter right. So that's one way that you could be registering content that's changing on a regular basis. But the main thing you need to understand is that you've got to take the step to protect your I p before you start profiting from it. All right, so this is the barrier in between and it doesn't have to be hard. It's totally doable for you as an entrepreneur because, like we said, when you're dealing with intangible assets like I said, 95% of your business is intellectual property and mine too, right? This is not not just your business. All of our businesses 95% of those assets, if not more than that, is intellectual property. It's intangible assets. So we have to take steps to protect it because it's easily transferrable, right? Someone could just hit the download button and steal your stuff and steal your sort of source of revenue. So it's really important to protect it because we're not gonna be victims. Okay, um, so here's Here's what you gotta do. You gotta registered the copyright. So ask yourself when you're, you know, thinking about OK, I've gone through this steps of mining. I've prioritised what I want to create. I've decided how I'm going to rework that content, to create something new and interesting and that's going to create generate additional revenue for my business. Now you have to ask yourself what creative works exist within this new product or this new service or this new piece of I P that I'm putting out in the world that requires copyright registration. What brand elements do you need to register as a trademark? So, Like I said, if you're creating a new brand, you need to register the trademark for that brand before you actually launch it. Okay, And then also, what systems formulas or inventions do, uh, do you need toe registered a patent for or protect as a trade secret? Okay, so let's dive in a patents and trade secrets first, trade secrets are proprietary information, so that's methods, properties, sorry methods, program strategies and formulas that give each business its competitive edge in the market place. Let me give you an example of a trade secret. I have a client who is, um, in the food business, right. She sells a cheese spread. OK, it's like a Caribbean themed cheese spread is called carob Delights. Now she's got a recipe right for her very special fabulous cheese spread that she sells. And obviously she doesn't want all of her competitors to be able to offer the exact same cheese spread right. That would suck because that would take away her competitive edge in the market place. And this is also not something that she necessarily wants to register the copyright for, because she would have to disclose the recipe in order to register it. So that's why this is going to be treated as a trade secret. And if you're struggling to sort of figure this out, this is a good thing to maybe talk to an attorney about, like, how do you protect this particular intellectual property? Does it make sense to register the copyright, or do I need to protect it as a trade secret? Now, when it comes to like, you know, info products or anything that you are putting out there, if your clients can, um, have access to that information, then that's something you need to register the copyright for. However, you know, in this case, my client is selling a finished product, a cheese spread right. So that's what people are buying from her. They're not buying the recipe, so they don't know the recipe even though they're, you know, eating the cheese. Britain buying the cheese But they don't they still don't know the recipe that's behind it. That helps to create it, right? So that's why that's a trade secret. And the way you protect a trade secret is by keeping it a secret. OK, actually not back obligated right on. And the and the great thing about this is that there's no registration process, so it can be pretty inexpensive to protect a trade secret. Now this is for, you know, formulas, processes like Susie talked about. She has a particular process that she takes clients through. If clients don't know what that process is like, they don't understand what's going on behind it. The sort of recipe, if you will, that's behind it. That might be something she wants to protect as a trade secret to give her a competitive edge against other Web designers, right? So how do you protect a trade secret? The way you do that is by making sure that your employees or contractors that are working with you on Lee. Those who need to know the secret formula or strategies or program or method? Actually, no. The recipe, right? It's only those people who need to know in order to do their job, need to know that. OK, so actually know that. So in my client's case, for example, she has a special chef who who she worked with to develop this recipe. So obviously he knows the formula, right? He knows the recipe because he asked you. She also has a cold packer, right? So, um, this is the manufacturer that's essentially packing, you know, packaging the food and, you know, you know, shipping it to the grocery stores. Right? So they also need to know the rest. API. But, you know, desert marketing coordinator need to the recipe. Nope. She sure doesn't. Does her bookkeeper need to know the recipe? No. So you just make sure that only the people who need to know no and that that helps you sort of manage how that that information is shared within your company and limits ways that it could be sort of disseminated in the wrong way. And then that's not all we're gonna dio obviously, because remember, I said, it's all about, you know, putting it in writing Rachel's rule of thumb always have a contract for anyone that you do business with, so you want to protect it in writing as well. On the way that you would do that is by having an employment agreement with your employees that has language in there. And if you're an employee of a place you know or have ever been an employee of anywhere, you've probably seen this clause. You probably signed it when you signed your employment agreement, you know, at your current company or previous company that you worked for. This would be a non disclosure, Um, and possibly also a nine compete. But a nondisclosure or confidentiality clause is where companies will protect their trade secrets. So there's language that's essentially saying that you, as the contractor or as the employees understand that that you know their proprietary information trade secrets, formulas, strategies, customer lists. There's probably a lot of things that they're including in there are special proprietary information and that us, an employee or contractor are required not to share it. OK, so you're legally bound to keep that secret And then if you don't there could be some really ugly circumstances, right, because that would do major damage to the business. Just letting that secret out of the bag and allowing a competitors to know that secret. There's no way to get it back once it's out right. So you have to sort of control how it's shared and very limit. Who knows about it? Okay, so that's trade secrets. And just like another tidbit like Coca Cola, for example, there special formula that's a trade secret. It's not something that's love, patented or copy written anywhere. It's a trade secret. They limit who knows it within their company, and that's how they keep it a secret. And they've done a pretty good job, right for a pretty long time. So that's trade secrets. So let's also talk about patents. Patents might be something that you want Teoh use in the future as a tool, right? So what a patent does is it gives you an exclusive right to prevent somebody else from creating your invention. Okay, so it's pretty interesting, right? It's not giving. You are right to do anything with it. All it's doing is preventing anyone else from doing anything with it. So if you have sort of an invention, if you've got a piece of software or any sort of, um, sort of what's the word I'm looking for, Um, I guess, system or processes that is sort of product ized. Then that would be something that you'd want to register the patent for. Another thing you could register the patent for is a design patent. So I'll give an example of a design patent and an example of a utility patents. You can understand what these two things are. So a design patent is like with Michael Graves. Have any Has anybody heard of Michael Graves? He's like a really famous designer. You've probably seen his toasters or his toilet scrubbers a target. Okay, He creates like a pretty line of, like, you know, um, household items. So he doesn't have a patent for creating toasters, right? He can't prevent any other company from creating a toaster. What he can do, though, is with his design patent is prevent any other company from creating a beautiful you know, specially designed toaster. He has one that's pretty famous. That looks like a rooster. I don't know, if you guys have ever seen this, I should have put the visual up. But anyway, so that's one example of a design patent. So it's about the look of the of the product itself rather than just the function of it, which is a utility patent. So an example of utility patent would be like Dyson vacuums. We've all seen those commercials right where they have the special ball, and he's always talking about the suction and, like the special ways that it works to, like, you know, vacuumed your rug. Now that's really the special thing about that is its function. It's the way it works. It has a sort of competitive edge over other vacuums on how it works, and it's also why they could charge an arm and a leg for it, right? It's a pretty high end vacuum, so they have a patent that prevents anybody else from using that technology from from manufacturing a competing vacuum. Okay, so it's really, really useful. This is limited to the United States, so you'd have to apply for a patent in a variety of different countries if that was applicable to you, and just so you understand, too. So a patent. Um What, it's gonna run you is probably around 15,000 in legal fees to register. Ah, patent. OK, so it's a complex process. I don't even do this. You want somebody who just does patents? Okay, if you're gonna do, um, if you're gonna apply for a patent, and I do have some good friends who do patents that I could refer you to if you need a referral. But this is a really useful, um, piece of intellectual property. And if you ever walked Shark Tank, you know what I'm talking about. I'm a big fan of shark Tank. I watch it all the time. And one of the questions they always ask is Do you have a patent having registered the trademark, you know, they want to know, Have you captured that intellectual property? Because that's where the value is in the business. And so before they invest, they need to know that you've created an exclusive right so that no one else can create that product and manufacture that product, and no one else can use that brand name. I remember there was ah, particular episode where someone was creating a perfume called money I za cologne and they actually got the trademark for the word money. It's kind of difficult to get one word trademarks nowadays because there's just so much trademark registration, right? So many companies that usually you have to do a combination of words. Um, and also, word like money is probably trademarked in every single category already. So anyway, we'll talk about trademarks in a second, but now you understand trade secrets and patents. Okay, so this is gonna cover, you know, methods, program strategies, formulas, software, your inventions. Okay, that's what you're gonna cover. And also, you know, special utility designed. So if you're like an industrial designer or if you have an idea Ah, cool design idea for a product and you hire an industrial designer to help you sort of map it out, Then you could apply for a patent. And while it's not cheap, toe actually acquire a patent, it could be incredibly valuable, because you this is the type of thing that you would license out the patent to another company, and then they would pay you on a regular basis to manufacturer it so you wouldn't even have to do any of the work just holding the patent, coming up with the inventing. Applying for the patent gives you a really valuable right that you can then sell. So that's why it's worth the $15,000 that you have toe. I'm spend Teoh get patent rights.