Why Trademarks Matter
Let's dive in to trademark. So trademark is also something that I get super excited about your brand is incredibly important it's a powerful force right it's how people associate is almost as important as your own personal name right and the reputation attached to it the same type of situation where your brand is sort of speaking for you when you're not there you know on dso that's why people purchase from you because they connect with your brand right that's why I have a mac because I consider myself an artist gigi nerdy type of person who's maybe sort of hipster you know and cool and that's what mac expresses right and I mean also their laptops work really well um but you know that's why some people are mac people and some people are pc people right because they associate themselves with the brand they see themselves in the brand and that's exactly what your brand is communicating and that's exactly why you need to protect it to prevent other people from diluting your brand in the ma...
rketplace because that's what happens so one of the main things that can happen when you register a trademark is that you can get an office action for a likelihood of confusion that's the standard okay and what does that mean that means that the uspto is saying hey there's a likelihood that the customer is going to be confused about the origin of these services or of this product because your mark is so close to this other mark that's already registered and that could be really tough to overcome elizabeth the attorney in my office is super like magic at overcoming these different office actions but it's it's a challenge because you have to be able to differentiate and show that hey you know my mark is different enough I'll give you an example that all of you will be familiar with we've all heard of dove chocolate right? And then we've all heard of doves not the same company okay but both have very strong trademarks and very 00:01:59.237 --> 00:02:02. strong brands why? Because they exist in two completely 00:02:02.79 --> 00:02:05. different categories when I'm shopping for chocolate 00:02:05.64 --> 00:02:07. I'm not goingto accidentally by soap because it has 00:02:07.81 --> 00:02:10. the same name right? You're looking for a specific 00:02:10.07 --> 00:02:13. thing you know if a reese's pieces buttercup was called 00:02:13.42 --> 00:02:17. dove then there be a fight you know but because it's 00:02:17.05 --> 00:02:19. a soap and a chocolate it's two different things there's 00:02:19.45 --> 00:02:21. not a likelihood of confusion that's going to happen 00:02:21.89 --> 00:02:24. with those two marks so that's good for you to know 00:02:24.13 --> 00:02:26. too when you're doing a trademark search which you 00:02:26.38 --> 00:02:29. are all going to do a trademark search right in the 00:02:29.32 --> 00:02:31. advanced type for entrepreneurs class we actually 00:02:31.45 --> 00:02:33. I walk you through this step by step process of how 00:02:33.52 --> 00:02:36. to do a trademark search but just make sure that you 00:02:36.96 --> 00:02:39. are actually vetting the names that you're coming 00:02:39.49 --> 00:02:42. up with for your products or services before you actually 00:02:42.35 --> 00:02:44. attach them to your business because what can happen 00:02:44.6 --> 00:02:47. is you get served with the trademark infringement 00:02:47.45 --> 00:02:50. notice when someone's letting you know hey already 00:02:50.53 --> 00:02:53. owned the trademark for that actually and now you 00:02:53.8 --> 00:02:55. need to take down your website and you transfer the 00:02:55.85 --> 00:02:59. domain to me you need thio dismantle all of the you 00:02:59.36 --> 00:03:01. know visual branding that you've done you're gonna 00:03:01.59 --> 00:03:03. lose all your search engine optimization you're going 00:03:03.75 --> 00:03:06. to start over from scratch okay so now we're seeing 00:03:06.29 --> 00:03:09. how brutal this is and let me tell you this is not 00:03:09.31 --> 00:03:11. a fictitious thing this is something that happens 00:03:11.16 --> 00:03:14. to clients like on a weekly basis okay because they 00:03:14.33 --> 00:03:17. didn't take steps to actually look it up before they 00:03:17.64 --> 00:03:20. started using the name so we're all going to go home 00:03:20.09 --> 00:03:21. and do a trademark search right 00:03:23.37 --> 00:03:24. okay good 00:03:25.75 --> 00:03:29. s o trademark law gives you legal rights to the unique 00:03:29.38 --> 00:03:33. words names, symbols and sounds used to identify and 00:03:33.33 --> 00:03:35. distinguish the goods and services associated with 00:03:35.57 --> 00:03:39. your business in the marketplace so your trademark 00:03:39.04 --> 00:03:41. could be the name like I have a trademark for small 00:03:41.93 --> 00:03:44. business bodyguard it could be the logos you could 00:03:44.32 --> 00:03:46. have a trademark for the logo you could have a trademark 00:03:46.45 --> 00:03:49. for the tagline you can have a trademark for your 00:03:49.83 --> 00:03:52. different products and you're different services okay 00:03:53.32 --> 00:03:55. you could also have a trademark for certain symbols 00:03:56.42 --> 00:04:00. I bet you I'm not certain but the first thing I think 00:04:00.16 --> 00:04:03. of what of symbol? Remember how prince used to be hey used to be like the symbol and then you know formerly known as prince or whatever it was I'm better he trademark that symbol um also celebrities do this a lot with trade marking their names which is by the way not something that we can do as regular people you have to be famous before you can register the name because otherwise if I registered rachel rogers than all the other rachel rogers is in the world wouldn't be ableto like you know have a business using their name right so not practical but trust me beyonce has registered beyonce thie other thing you can register is sounds eso like nbc that channel has the chimes do do do that that little sound that you hear on their channel they've registered the trademark for that because it's associated with their brand it's how people recognize that oh yeah I'm on nbc you know s oh there are a lot of different things you can register you can also register trade dress so if you have a physical product you should definitely be registering the trademark for the packaging of that product because you know if somebody is in the store shopping for things they're looking at all these things on the shelf right and you know when I send my husband to this door I'll say hey can you pick me up that powder you know, the one in the orange you know? It's an orange container and like the word during different colors you know I'm thinking of gold bond but you know but like I might not remember the name but I'll remember what the packaging looks like and that's how he'll find what I'm looking for and the hope of course he'll call me seven times from the store as well anybody else have that problem so anyway the trade dress is incredibly important to say if you've got a physical product make sure you registered the trademark for the trade dresses well which is the packaging okay and you can also register the trademark for colors so there's a company named corning that creates insulation for houses um and so usually you see when a house is going up in your neighborhood the insulation is usually yellow right they make all their insulation pink and they have registered the trademark for the color pink in the category insulation so that way none of their competitors can you know throw up a house with pink insulation because pink you know suggests corning which is their company okay s so you know obviously it's not stopping anyone else from using the color pink in their marketing or in their branding necessarily but it's stopping their competitors from making the product itself paint so that just shows you some of the different ways that you can register your brand elements and this stuff is really important now there does. This is an expensive process. It's not cheap okay and there's really no way to make it cheap that I know of ok other than to like learn how to do it which who the hell wants to do that right you're not a lawyer or even some lawyers don't want to learn how to do it because they're not trademark lawyers you know so if you don't do this for a living it's really hard to be done cheaply but hopefully you can take a lot of the other tips I've given you today that make the other services you need cheap so that way you can spring for this because this is important on and then also you want to pick and choose and be strategic about what you're registered in the trademark for definitely want to register the trademark for your business also if you've got flagship products products that are making you money you need to register the trademark for that okay but like I showed you with my legal nunchucks siri's you khun b strategic so that you can save some money okay don't create eight thousand brands free to package think about that when you're coming up with the name for your business and we're going to talk about that with matt frei in a couple of minutes you know we're going to talk about how to come up with a brand name that has legs you know that means that this is something that can be used in a lot of different ways ok so it's not like all right you do it this one way and then you have to register all these other trademarks and they sort of don't go together I mean we're going to talk about how to do that and so the other thing I want you to know to is that so you're going to register your trademark you're going to register your copyrights copyright is something that's going to save you a ton of money so you can use the money you spend on that and use it for trademark registration okay be strategic about where you're putting your money because I understand I'm a small business to I don't have unlimited budget for everything including legal so you have to learn some some methods to do it on a budget and so you can protect the things that you need to protect the way you need to do it s o we've also learned about trade secrets and patent so those air some ways they could register your intellectual property but the other way is that you protect your intellectual property is through contract so let's talk about some of the contracts that would protect your pipe number one we all have websites right you need have terms and conditions on your website because that lets people know hey everything appearing on this website is mine I own the copyright for it this brand is mine it's my you know, intellectual property so you're letting them know that that this is yours and that they can only use it in very specific limited ways or not at all you know whatever you whatever you want to make the rules are this is your house you can decide what the rules are the boundaries okay but always have terms and conditions if you have an e course you must must must have terms and conditions because people are having access to your paidcontent so if you're going to give people access to your paidcontent then you need to make sure that you're telling them how they can and can't use that obviously they can't sell it send it to people who haven't paid for the access right they have a limited license to use your materials in a limited way they can't take that content download it and then start selling it to their customers right they can only use it to apply to their own business so make it very clear what people are purchasing when they're purchasing content from you whether it's photos audio visuals, your e courses whatever it isthe so some of it so terms and conditions is a powerful way to protect your content online and then also you know I talked a little bit about client service agreement that determines how your I p is being transferred to the client or not independent contractors we all often have people working under us right freelancers so bet you had a question about that you're saying that you have you know a book or sort of a fantasy world that you've created and you wanted to hire an illustrator yes hired illustrator teo illustrate the characters in my book and I want to be able to use this in whatever way I'd like to write print editions and put it on a bug put it on a key chain things like that so I realized I should probably present to her a possible contract uh yeah instead of instead of ask her my first step was let me ask her and I'm like wait a minute actually no use that's what I want do you set the terms absolutely and that's a very good point I'm glad you made that distinction yes so you would need an independent contractor agreement where your hirings an independent contractor to create intellectual property for your business that you intend to own so you need to let them know that right up front and I've done this myself because sometimes I'm purchasing either design work or illustrations or things like that and I want to own it I want to own the process files I want to be able to manipulate that content in whatever way I want and I'm willing to pay a premium for that privilege and so just know that I mean unfortunately a lot of creators aren't that savvy so you might get a good deal but hopefully you know we're here to support each other as creative so you know you would just let them know that that's what I intend to do with it and I need to have complete ownership of it and make sure that your contract has that language in there so it might be considered a works for hire and works for hire sort of beat goes beyond the scope of what we're going to cover here today but work fire is covered in detail in that advanced type for designers course which you may be interested in based on what you're trying to do uh I also talk about it in advance type for entrepreneurs and all the other ones okay um you need to understand work for hire because that affects how the intellectual property is transferred to you when you're you know contracting it out okay you wanted to have a work for hire claws and then also a trance a copyright transfer so it has both okay so like it's like works for hire and then if some reason if the works for hire is invalid and there's a lot of reasons bye sometimes that's true then you'd have the copyright transfer and you'd have ownership of that content okay, so that's what you want to do when you're hiring contractors make sure that you let them know up front what you intend to do with that content and they can inform you or you can inform them now that you've taken this course, what kind of license or what kind of copyright ownership you need to purchase from them in orderto have that control, okay, that way you avoid issues where I've had this issue was one of my clients who purchased a new website right for a new line of business that she was creating from a designer that she had worked with many times. Okay, so she had a standard agreement she signed it thought nothing of it turns out that this designer owns the illustration she did a lot of original illustrations is part of the website, and then she wanted to take those same illustrations and license it to another company who is interested in purchasing them. And, you know, this person, my client was really pissed about it because she didn't realise that that's what she was agreeing to, she never really signed that read the agreement because she had worked with her before, but when she'd worked with her before, it wasn't with all these unique illustrations. Okay, so that's an example of how this can really go awry if you don't make sure that the terms were clear up front. All right, so now you understand that you gotta register your copyrights, and then you also have to control the way your copyrights are transferred around with your contracts.
Copyright, trademark, and intellectual property are all terms that creative professionals throw around, but being aware of them isn’t the same as understanding how they apply to you and your work. And while working with a lawyer can be helpful, it can also be costly and time-consuming – the best solution for most creatives is to become your own informed advocate.
In Protect and Profit From Your Intellectual Property, Rachel Rodgers will explain how intellectual property works, how to quickly and easily protect your creations, and a host of ways to make more money from what you’ve already created.
You’ll learn about:
- Conducting an IP audit
- Licensing your work
- Protecting your copyright and trademarks
Whether you’re a photographer, filmmaker, designer, or entrepreneur, this class will give you the skills and confidence to defend and profit from your unique creations.