IP & Social Media

Post image for How to Bullet-Proof Your Confidentiality Agreement

I received a query from “Cee” about using confidentiality agreements: Q.: I have every person i deal with sign confidentiality. but i have found that it does not really protect you because unless you are willing to pour tons of money into a lawsuit, and most small people dont have tons of money, then what […]

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Copying contracts from the Internet is a bit like wearing your old cousin’s hand-me-down dresses . . . in order to walk into a bee’s nest (an incongruous image, I know): yes, you’re “covered,” but the style is outdated and they usually don’t fit you well. Plus, they won’t provide you with the protection you […]

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Post image for How Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their Ideas

In response to my teleclass announcement, I had an inquiry from a reader in Illinois who was wondering how she could protect her idea for a product aimed at children and young adults. The first thing to recognize is that intangible ideas cannot, in general, be protected — not by using traditional copyright or trademark […]

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Technology is a wonderful thing – sometimes. But, as one of our clients (“Samantha”) discovered, technology can create its own pitfalls. It’s a nasty surprise when the document you thought you negotiated doesn’t say what you had intended. Last year, Samantha independently negotiated the sale of her business to a multinational, publicly traded corporation. Within […]

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Post image for How Entrepreneurs Can Legal Protect Their Web-Based Business

One of the great things about the Digital Age is the ease of doing business online for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Raking in great profits no longer requires investing in major real estate leases, huge inventory (and where would you PUT it?), or hiring extensive sales teams. But operational simplicity does not necessarily equal legal […]

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There are few things more frustrating than putting your hard-earned intellectual capital into your small business, only to find you’ve been a victim of copyright infringement or trademark infringement. For businesses with lots of online content, copyright infringement can pose vexing questions: How often do you file with the U.S. Copyright Office? What are the procedures for […]

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Post image for Small Business Copyright Protection

You’ve written a book, posted a podcast on your website, made a video that you uploaded to YouTube . . . how do you protect your creations from having people rip them off and pass them off as your own?That’s where a little knowledge of copyright can help. Check out Anthony Cerminaro’s BizBangBuzz blog (for […]

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[This post first appeared in Vol. 11, No. 5 (2010) of Enterprising Women] Social networking is like superhero powers: it can be a force for good, or a force for ill.  It depends on the user.  Used wisely, it can be a great boon for your business.  Used poorly, it’s a public relations nightmare.  When […]

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Like the Grinch stealing Christmas, there’s theft afoot–of online articles. For anyone submitting articles to online directories like EZine Articles, this could have a definite bearing on your intellectual property.  According to my colleague, Dee Middlebrooks-Bernal, Editor-in-Chief of VA Today Magazine, she learned that several websites had reprinted her articles without giving her author credit. […]

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Post image for What’s in a Name? Perhaps Not a Trademark

Have you ever Googled yourself? (Of course you have.) That’s just what Beverly Stayart did. Curious about what she would find when she checked Yahoo’s search engine, she typed in her name and hit “enter.” What she found upset her greatly. Among the results, she found that her name links to pharmaceutical websites, porn sites and […]

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