IP & Social Media

Post image for 3 Online Business Mistakes to Avoid

Despite the popular myth, cyberspace isn’t the Wild West. Know the rules and protect yourself. You have a brilliant idea at 3 a.m on a Saturday. You turn on the computer, access the internet and register your domain name. Over the next 24 hours, you set up a PayPal account, get a template website, slap up […]

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Post image for How a Shortcut Can Lead to a Long Road

Life is short. Time is limited. So when you see that someone has phrased something “just right,” can you take it?  Even just a wee snippet? Aw, c’mon! I came across the example of a consultant who wanted to use song lyrics in publishing her book. The U.S. Copyright Office said “ask for permission.”  A […]

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Should you freely, readily, easily share your intellectual property? Does “share, share; that’s fair” apply to the board room as well as the dining room? Methinks not. This short video explains why. Am I being overly cautious? (No surprise, given my legal training). Or worse—selfish? (With a wink to Ayn Rand). Be sure to post […]

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Post image for Basic Training:  The Catch with Provisional Patents

Q:  I have invented something that could almost be considered reinventing the wheel.  Here is my question.  If I built and used my own invention (not just a prototype), would I still have protection if I only have a provisional patent on it? I don’t want to manufacture it myself; I want to sell the […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Ask, Don’t Take

Once again, I’m asked whether you can take what someone else has made and simply sell it to a new market . . . even (and especially) if the original manufacturer hasn’t had the wisdom to move into the new area.  Just think of the money they’re leaving on the table! Unfortunately, in many cases, […]

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Post image for Protect Your Intellectual Property

Here are 5 ways to prevent others from making money off your products or your image. I’m often asked, “When’s the best time to protect my intellectual property?” The answer (and timing) are the same as they are for installing a burglar alarm: “Right before someone wants to steal your stuff.” “Intellectual property,” or things […]

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Post image for Warning! PayPal Spoofing Alert!

Well, friends, I almost fell for it–and I want to prevent you from doing the same. I received an e-mail from (what seemed to be) PayPal, saying that my account had been placed on hold because of a “reason to beleive that your account was accessed by a third party.” See the clever language, below. […]

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Post image for Can You Keep a Secret?

As a lawyer, I’m always dealing with companies’ confidential information. So keeping secrets is a core part of my business. You may be surprised to find that it’s part of yours, too.  They may be buried in various places–or dug up by your employees or independent contractors.  And if exposed without permission, you can find […]

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Post image for Basic Training: W is for When Did Drinking Games Go Online?

OK, so maybe my age is showing (it hasn’t been that many years since college, has it?), but I thought that drinking games were idiot party tricks made up on the spot by frat boys sitting around a keg of watered-down beer trying to get into the panties of the coeds. Apparently, it’s now a […]

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Post image for Basic Training: V is for a View on Invention Protection

Q: What would be the first step for an invention? How can the idea be protected when others will need to be involved in the process of getting the idea to market? A: It’s very difficult to protect an idea, unless you have found some way to “capture” it in a kind of tangible form–such […]

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