Hey, Legacy Builders! Welcome back. I know it has been a while since I lasted posted anything but there is a good reason for that. I have recently launched my first online course! Yay! It’s the IP For Business Blueprint Course and it is geared towards helping entrepreneurs, small business owners, creatives, or anyone just interested in learning ways to avoid the pitfalls that come along with using other people’s intellectual property permission. This course has been a passion project for me for the last three months. I have put so much information and resources into this course and I am just super excited to finally be able to share it with you and to let you know some of the things that you will learn when you take the course. For those of you who are wondering how to navigate all of this intellectual property stuff as a creative, as a business owner, or as someone who is just doing craft projects that they want to sell, believe me, this is the course for you!
Why did I create this course?
Honestly, I created this course for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that I love entrepreneurs. I love being around creatives. I love people who put themselves and their talents out there in the marketplace. I enjoy being innovative and creative atmospheres. Unfortunately, all too often I’ve seen individuals who’ve pursued their dreams of entrepreneurship and put themselves at risk because they don’t know how to properly use other people’s intellectual property. Those individuals think that all that matters in creating a business is getting noticed and making money. However, they fail to get an understanding of the rules of the road and end up receiving cease and desist letters or takedown notices. And, just as soon as they get started, everything spirals out of control. Some even lose the desire to continue on in their businesses altogether. Given my background and experience working with law and business, I know that I am positioned to help them grow their businesses, see their dreams materialize, go to higher levels. I am a helper and an advocate by nature. That’s how I am programmed and I love empowering people with information that they can use to better their lives and better their businesses. What I hate to see is when entrepreneurs, small business owners, or creatives fall into these messes that could easily have been avoided if they only knew how to navigate the process. And so I created this course because I wanted to be that person for these small businesses, for these entrepreneurs, for these creatives.
Now more than ever, people are starting businesses out of their homes. With everything going on in the world as a result of the lockdowns, businesses having to adapt to the new normal, and people having to work from home, more individuals are starting businesses and taking the entrepreneurial leap that just a couple of years ago they weren’t even thinking about taking. I just don’t want to see your dreams to be derailed because you don’t know what you just don’t know. The goal of my course is to make the complex world of intellectual property for business owners simple and understandable. This course gives you a leg up to those who don’t take this issue seriously.
How is the course structured?
I have broken the course into easily digestible chunks, and it’s accompanied by a workbook that has loads of information, checklists, worksheets, and templates for you to use in your business. The first two chapters are all about trademarks, service marks, and copyrights. You will learn what they are, what they protect, and how to register your intellectual property if you choose to do so. The third chapter explains the first line of defense against claims of infringement and how business owners can use it as a shield against liability. The fourth chapter is all about getting permission to use other people’s intellectual property and my tips for getting that permission. The fifth and final chapter is focused on enforcing your intellectual property rights and how to defend yourself against claims of infringement. But there’s more. In addition to the comprehensive lessons that you receive, you will also receive an E-notebook as part of the course that has over one hundred and twenty pages of information. It is packed with worksheets, checklists, templates that are practical and relevant to your business. The E-notebook itself is it valued at well over $500, and that alone is worth the cost of admission. Plus, I have created a private Facebook group for students of the course to talk about the material, to encourage one another in their businesses, and to get additional tips, tools, and templates straight from me.
Why is this cause worth it for an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a creative?
To answer that question, let me give you some real-life examples that I hope brings home the message to you. Ever heard of Tiffany & Co., the jewelry company, or Costco, the wholesaler? Well, recently a case that started 6 years ago, was finally resolved with Costco having to pay $25 million dollars in damages to the jewelry brand because it used the term “Tiffany” on its signage for a diamond ring. Costco is appealing the trial court’s decision, but if they are unsuccessful, they are on the hook for damages. In another case, $95.5M in damages has been awarded by a jury in the ongoing trademark infringement battle between Walmart Stores, Inc. (Walmart) and Variety Stores, Inc. (Variety) over the use of the trademark “BACKYARD.” A federal judge approved a jury verdict that determined Walmart must pay Variety for infringing on Variety’s trademarks “The Backyard,” “Backyard,” and “Backyard BBQ.” Here’s another case. Actress and singer, Jennifer Lopez, is the latest celebrity to be hit with a copyright infringement suit. Lopez and her production company are being sued for over $150,000 in damages by photographer Steve Sands, who alleges that Lopez posted a photo taken by Sands on Instagram. Should I go on?
Understanding copyright and trademark rules, and understanding the use of other people’s intellectual property in your business is vital. While you may not be like Costco or Wal-Mart and having million-dollar verdicts against you, you still have to be very careful because any amount of damages that you may have to pay for copyright or trademark infringement claims could be the difference between you continuing with your business or you having to close your business because you can’t afford to pay those damages.
So why is doing nothing to learn about IP not a good idea for your business or your brand?
My biggest concern for some of you who are hesitant about committing to taking this course is that your lack of knowledge could be putting you and your business at risk. You’ve probably heard the saying “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” and that’s true. Why take a chance with your business when you have a resource that’s here that’s ready and willing to be able to help you? It’s not going to take very long to get through the course, but the information is so vital. The way I set up the course, you can get through the material in just one week and put yourself in a position that you’re better able to navigate these really complex issues. Maybe it won’t cost you $25 million like Costco, but the failure to protect your business and your brand could cost you everything. I don’t want that for you. I’m not trying to scare you into taking the course. That is not how I operate. But what I am trying to do is give you the information that you need to make an intelligent and informed decision. Letting this stuff slide and not taking it seriously could cost you so much.
Did you know?
I’ve seen recently a lot of people have been making crafts with the Spotify codes. Did you know that those codes are copyright protected and that you need to get permission from Spotify to even use those codes before you can sell them on Etsy or any other shop? Did you know that for those who are selling crafts for the holiday season, like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas or Olaf from Frozen or any of the other characters that we’ve come to know and love, that those characters and images are intellectual property that does not belong to you? Even though you’re creating these craft projects with your own machines and your own materials, those images that you’re selling on Etsy or in other places don’t belong to you. And while you may not get caught now, at some point you will. If you plan to continue to use these protected materials without permission, you need to make sure that you are in a position to be able to pay any damages that come along with your use.
My goal is that help you understand what your rights are, the rights of others, and how to get the proper permissions to be able to use OPIP legally so that you can grow your business and not have to be worried or looking over your shoulder wondering, am I going to be caught today? Don’t let your Etsy shop get closed down. Don’t get forced to respond to cease and desist letters or to take down orders. Learn all the things that you need to know as a business owner, as a creative, as someone who wants to be in the space of selling products, or promoting products. Understand what the rights of other individual and intellectual property owners are and what your rights as an intellectual property owner are.
If you want to run your business without worrying about infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights, or if you want the tools to protect your brand and your creativity, then you need to take my IP for Business Blueprint Course. Don’t continue to put yourself or your business at risk for potential lawsuits. Get the tools, get the information, get the templates that will set you up for success in your business. I can assure you the cost of taking my course and implementing my system is much less than the cost of defending yourself against any infringement claim that may come. You owe it to yourself and to your business to take this course.
Your actions are to click on the link for my course today, download the E-notebook that accompanies the course, and get started. Take a week or however much time you need and learn what you can to grow your business, to protect your business, and to be able to see how to properly use other people’s intellectual property.
Still unsure about whether this course is right for you or your business? Well, you can check out the introductory lesson for free. I am committed to helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and creatives navigate the complex issues that come along with running a business and being an entrepreneur. My goal is for my viewers, my followers, my students to have the information and the tools that you need to thrive and to grow. Throughout the course, I will be available for follow up questions and to encourage you as you go through the material. It’s not one of those sign-up and then leave kind of things for me. I want to be there. I want to help you. I’m excited to see your businesses grow. There are so many of you guys who are just starting your businesses now and it’s so exciting at the very beginning. But it also is a bit overwhelming because there are so many things being thrown at you. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, navigating the process of transitioning from a full-time employee to a full-time entrepreneur can be tough and can be lonely. I know I’ve been there and that’s why I want to be there for you. I’m in this with you for the long haul. I want to see your business grow and I want to see the chances of you facing any liability decrease. I’d like to be that person in your corner cheering you on and providing you with relevant information that’s going to help you and your business thrive. This is only just the beginning of our journey together.
In the meantime, while all of this stuff is going on with the course, I’m still going to be here putting out content that’s going to help support you in your business efforts. I plan to continue posting blogs on business basics, as well as a few more specific topics that cover practical aspects of starting a business or running a website. If you’ve got any questions or thoughts about the course or content that you would like to see in the future, please contact me. I love hearing from you and I want to be there to help you as you continue to grow your business. I am all about you building your legacy. Together, we are legacy builders, so let’s keep building together.