IP & Social Media

Post image for Social Media Sherpa

OK, I confess.  I may have conquered the art of posting regularly to Making it Legal, but I still feel overwhelmed at times about moving through the world of social media.  Like I don’t have enough on my plate already?  It reminds me of my sister-in-law’s recent birthday party. The whole clan (there were nearly […]

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Post image for Basic Training:  Great Ideas Need Protection, Too

This is a perennial favorite:  “I have no money, but have an idea that’s going to be great.  How can I take steps to launch it on a shoestring?” Q: I have a great diaper idea for the ”on the go mom” that I think is unique. I don’t have money for any startup to manufacture this […]


Post image for My Trademark Was Granted–I’m Done . . . Right?

Oh, it should be so easy.  Let’s face it, if securing and protecting trademarks were simple, any fifth-grader would be able to do it. You’ve had sleepless nights coming up with that oh-so-fabulous brand that will rock the world (or at least your market niche). You sweated out the search process, making sure that no one […]


Post image for Careless With Your Business Website?  Don’t Get Sued

I spoke at the Brooklyn Creative League earlier today, and the question, “Isn’t it true that there’s no regulation of the internet?” came up.  So once again, I had to debunk that myth. In addition to the Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, there are a host of federal and state laws […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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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