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Category Archives for Legal Road Map® Podcast Episode

Legal for course creators – Student problems (S4E87)


If you are providing an online course or digital products to students, members, or customers, you’re bound to come across a few tricky situations sooner or later. But are you doing all you can on the front end to prevent these situations from the start?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of clear payment language in your terms of use
  • How tech tools can prevent your students from copying your course content
  • Why including a dollar amount for damages in your terms of use can save you a lot of headaches if someone does copy your course content
  • Important legal and practical tips for managing your online community
  • Why including disclaimers in your terms of use could be essential, depending on the nature of your online course/program topic
  • Why promising guaranteed results is tricky business
  • Why you should keep your refund policy on the strict side in your terms

Key takeaway: We all want to believe the best in people, but in business, it’s next to impossible to completely dodge unpleasant situations. By taking a closer look at your terms of use, you can prevent or avoid a lot of them.

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Beth McCord on enneagram and business (S4E86)


Your Enneagram Coach, Beth McCord, talks with Autumn about growing your business with online courses, certification programs, and more.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How understanding enneagram types can change the way you work with your team
  • The importance of patience when you’re growing your business
  • Why investing in legal right out of the gate may not be the best move
  • How one-on-one coaching, online courses, certification programs, and books can all live within one business

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

Your Enneagram Coach – https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/

Instagram: @yourinneagramcoach

Free Enneagram assessment: https://assessment.yourenneagramcoach.com/

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Why Course Creators need Terms of Use with your students (S4E85)


Terms of Use, Terms of Service… whatever you call it, you might not think of it as a contract, but it is – and an important one at that! This week’s solo episode is all about this critical contract between you and your customers, students, or clients.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Where your TOU must be linked on your website
  • The 11 terms you should include in your TOU to protect you and your students
  • Why including more strict terms in your TOU is always better, and how you can be gentler when difficult circumstances come up
  • Why including a “refunds at our discretion” clause is a bad idea
  • How your TOU can give you a way to resolve issues with someone stealing your intellectual property, without having to file a costly copyright or trademark lawsuit

Key takeaway: Unlike your website’s privacy policy, TOU are not required by law, but they are the legal foundation of your course business.  Strong TOU will put you and your customers on the same page and will save you a lot of legal headaches.

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

Contract templates: www.awbfirm.com/contract-templates

AWB Firm Masterclass: www.awbfirm.com/course

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Jaclyn Mellone on the importance of contracts (S4E84)



Go-to gal Jaclyn Mellone joins Autumn on the podcast to talk about the importance of contracts and her atypical path to running a successful online business.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why new practices, without doing mindset work, won’t get you the results you’re after
  • How using contracts in business shows trust rather than suspicion or doubt
  • Why you need to look extra closely at your contracts with your vendors, especially your payment processor
  • The value of meeting up in-person, even when you work online

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

Jaclyn Mellone: www.jaclynmellone.com

Instagram handles: @jaclyn_mellone and @go.to.gal

Member Vault: www.jaclynmellone.com/goodies

Jaclyn’s Free LIVE Class (May 8): www.jaclynmellone.com/class

Go To Gal podcast: www.jaclynmellone.com/gotogalpodcast/

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

Privacy Policies GDPR for Course Creators (S4E83)



If you’re running an online business, it’s highly likely that you’re collecting some form of personal information from your website visitors. But do your visitors know what happens to their data once they’ve given it to you?  

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • When you must have a privacy policy on your website
  • What your privacy policy needs to include
  • Extra steps you need to take if you’re collecting information from children under 13
  • Where your privacy policy must be present on your site post-GDPR
  • What GDPR penalties are being handed out, almost one year after the new rules went into effect

Key takeaway: Whether your business must comply with GDPR or not (odds are it does!), the trend is that privacy regulations are becoming more stringent across the board. Taking simple steps to comply now can prevent you from having to implement an expensive fix down the road.

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

FREE downloads – Website Documents Guide AND Privacy policy + GDPR guide: Sign up below to receive our website documents guide AND our updated GDPR guide immediately in your inbox

GDPR in-depth episodes of the Legal Road Map® podcast: www.awbfirm.com/podcast38, www.awbfirm.com/podcast39, www.awbfirm.com/podcast40

Running list of GDPR enforcement actions as of February 2019: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/777680/Data+Protection+Privacy/GDPR+Enforcement

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

Liz Germain on Video Marketing Integrity in your business (S4E82)



Video marketing & YouTube expert Liz Germain joins the podcast in this episode to talk with Autumn about keeping integrity at the forefront of your business and some legal lessons learned.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How offering online courses can unlock your time as a business owner
  • How to use online courses to prequalify potential 1:1 clients
  • Why too much learning and attending too many conferences can be a bad thing
  • Important lessons Liz learned about required FTC disclosures for sponsored content
  • The downsides of using Paypal for payment processing, plus how your written refund policy can be your saving grace

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast82 for a transcript and show notes.

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

Liz Germain: www.lizdoesvideo.com

Liz’s Video Growth Course: https://videogrowthcourse.com/

Marketing School Podcast: https://marketingschool.io/

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

Website legal musts for online course creators (S4E81)



Your website is the front door to your amazing online course. But if you don’t include the right legal documents on your site, it’s like leaving your door wide open.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Which documents are required by law on your website and which are just a good idea
  • Why disclaimers are essential for online businesses in the health and wellness field
  • The ins and outs of FTC disclosures and when you must use them on your website
  • The easy addition to your course materials or downloadables that could deter someone else from copying them (and help you enforce your rights if it does happen)

Key takeaway: It’s easy to get caught up in how your website looks and what it can do, but every online business owner must make sure the proper legal protections are in place to lay a smart legal foundation for your website, and business.

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com/course for instant access to our brand new, free masterclass, 3 Legal Protections Your Course Business is Probably Missing, and our legal checklist for course creators (plus you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are live).

Resources:

FREE download – sign up below to receive your free Website Documents Guide

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

The importance of legal for online course creators (S3E80)


If you’re an online course creator, you may not even know what you need to worry about when it comes to legal for your business.

Season 4 of the Legal Road Map® podcast is a great place to start. This season, Autumn is alternating solo episodes with interviews of some of the biggest names in the online course world, like Beth McCord, Chris Winfield, Corinne Crabtree, and more.

Solo episodes will focus on legal issues for course creators, like:

  • The policies and documents you need to have on your website, such as privacy policy, terms & conditions, disclaimers, and disclosures
  • GDPR – the European Union law affecting personal data collection and privacy
  • Using guest experts
  • Working with affiliates
  • And last but not least, copyright and trademark

BONUS: Head over to www.awbfirm.com for instant access to the 10 Step Checklist we use with our million dollar clients, and make sure you’ve got the legal basics covered for your business (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Tara Gentile McMullin on the licensing certification program path (S3E79)



Tara (Gentile) McMullin, author and the founder of the What Works Network, formerly CoCommercial, joins us this week to share how she pivoted her business model to help turn small business owners into tomorrow’s economic powerhouses.

Listen and learn:

  • The less common motivation behind registering your trademark
  • Why consulting your ideal customer can help you fine-tune your perfect product
  • How a licensing program can broaden your reach
  • How understanding the difference between an independent contractor and an employee can help make the hiring leap less scary

KEY TAKEAWAY: When you “don’t know what you don’t know”, legal can seem intimidating. But sometimes doing your due diligence and tackling something scary like legal can open doors to help you grow your business more effectively.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit to learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson on Being Boss in business (S3E78)



Being Boss®  founders, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson, share valuable insights about partnering with others in business and the ins and outs of publishing a book.

Listen and learn:

  • How essential a written Partnership or LLC Operating Agreement is when partnering with others
  • Why self-publishing may not be the best route for your book
  • How having a trusted tribe of bosses can be so valuable in navigating business decisions

KEY TAKEAWAY: Legal may not always be necessary early on in business, but it is essential to avoid misunderstandings when you’re partnering with others and start making real money. Working with a lawyer who knows your business can help you and your partner(s) reach your long term vision through short term goals.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast78 for show notes and get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit to learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

 

Boss Mom Dana Malstaff on brand protection as a business strategy (S3E77)


Original Boss Mom®, Dana Malstaff, shares how protecting her brand was not only an early, key business strategy but also now provides her with peace of mind to reach her big goals.

Listen and learn:

  • How a registered trademark protects the meaning behind your business, not just its name
  • How DIY’ing legal isn’t always a good idea
  • The pros and cons of DIY’ing legal for your business, and when it’s time to level up and hire a lawyer
  • Why having the right professionals on your team can make all the difference

KEY TAKEAWAY: Working with a lawyer doesn’t have to be an intimidating one-way street. Having the right legal support on your team can keep you from needlessly spending on non-strategized legal work.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit to learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Kendrick Shope on why you’re working too hard to not have the right legal protections in place (S3E76)

Kendrick Shope, best known for Sales School and Authentic Selling, got really honest with me in this week’s case study interview.  She talks about when she knew it was time to hire a lawyer to create a custom contract for her online sales coaching business, and how her lawyer was able to talk her off a cliff during a difficult customer situation.  

Case Study Highlights:

  • How the universe responds when you take your business seriously and set things up the right way
  • How she knew it was time to work with a lawyer on a contract, but really appreciated Having a lawyer on her side later during a difficult customer situation
  • Why you don’t want to be on the wrong side of not having the right protection for your business — you’re working too hard, spending too much time away from your family to lose it
  • Why it’s been important to work with professionals who understand online business
  • The education process of figuring out the legal protections you need for your business
  • Why she does not DIY legal for her fast-growing business

KEY TAKEAWAY: Having a trusted legal advisor on your team will help you figure out what to do and get through situations that aren’t so fun.  

Kendrick Shope is the creator of Authentic Selling® and expert who empowers women to make millions without sacrificing their integrity. Kendrick also hosts her own radio and podcast show host, is in development with 2 Market Media on her own reality show and is finalizing a deal on her first book, “Sell Like A Woman.” Today, Kendrick runs an online Sales School where she teaches women how to create massive success using Authentic Selling®.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit to learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

When MUST you register a trademark (S3E75)


When should you run (not walk) to submit your trademark registration application?  There are definitely times when waiting to register a trademark is a huge mistake.

In this week’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How the level of investment behind your business or product can determine whether a registered trademark is a necessity
  • How long it takes to receive a trademark registration certificate from the USPTO
  • The advantages of “intent to use” applications in US trademark law
  • When you can use the ® and TM symbols
  • How a registered trademark can make your licensing or certification program more valuable to your licensees
  • Why a registered trademark can make your business more attractive to potential buyers
  • When a registered trademark in the US can help you obtain a foreign trademark if you plan to sell products or services internationally

Key takeaway: If your business is up-leveling in a major way, a trademark registration becomes a necessity, not a nice-to-have. Since the registration process is not quick, working with a trusted legal advisor who specializes in trademark law can help you plan ahead.

Visit https://awbfirm.com/vimeo-video/podcast75/ for part one of the video version of this podcast episode.

While you’re here, sign up below for a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet. You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

This is the final episode of Season 3. Don’t worry, Season 4 will launch on April 1, 2019 with loads of valuable information for online course creators and new interviews with top online course business owners. In the meantime, we’ll be releasing  interviews from the archives you may have missed the first time around. Stay tuned!

Resources

Legal Road Map® episode 68: www.awbfirm.com/podcast68

Legal Road Map ® episode 71: www.awbfirm.com/podcast71

Legal Road Map ® episode 31: www.awbfirm.com/podcast31

Legal Road Map ® episode 32: www.awbfirm.com/podcast32

Legal Road Map ® episode 33: www.awbfirm.com/podcast33

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Someone registered my TM – what can I do (S3E74)


Finding out someone else has registered a trademark you’re using in your business can really sting. But so long as you started using it first, not all is lost.

In this week’s episode you’ll learn:

  • What winning the race means when it comes to trademarks and defending your rights
  • What the “opposition period” is and why it is crucial to monitor the USPTO Gazette if you’re relying on common law trademark rights
  • How a cease and desist letter may stop a similar trademark application in its tracks
  • When the USPTO will actually deny a trademark application for a similar trademark without you lifting a finger
  • How challenging a trademark that’s the same as or similar to yours after a certificate has been granted can be more difficult, but not impossible
  • Why, in order to defend your trademark rights, you have to actually be using your trademark

Key takeaway: Challenging an application for a trademark that’s the same or similar as yours is not an area of legal you want to DIY. Consulting with a trusted legal advisor who specializes in trademark law is the best way to defend your trademark rights and prevent brand or product confusion.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

Next week is the final episode of Season 3 of the Legal Road Map®  podcast, all about when you must  register a trademark.

I’m so excited to bring Season 4 to you – it’s all about legal for course creators – so be sure to stay tuned!

Additional Resources:

Get your ALL ACCESS PASS for the Online Course Success Summit, classes will be live Feb. 11-22: http://awbfirm.com/ocss/

USPTO Official Gazette, published weekly: https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/official-gazette/trademark-official-gazette-tmog

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

#trademarks – Can you own a hashtag TM? (S3E73)


Hashtags are everywhere these days. It may seem appealing to register one that you use in your business as a trademark, but is it even possible?

In this week’s episode you’ll learn:

  1. How to figure out if you’re really using a hashtag as a trademark
  2. Why using your hashtag outside of social media may help you protect it as a trademark
  3. The downsides to registering your trademark with a hashtag instead of just the words
  4. Why a registered trademark hashtag is really difficult to enforce

Key takeaway: It takes some special circumstances to make the time and effort needed to register a hashtag as a trademark worth it. Consulting with a trusted legal advisor ahead of time can help you determine if you’re ready to take on the task or not.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast73 for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

Resources:

Get your free ticket NOW for the Online Course Success Summit, classes will be live Feb. 11-22: http://awbfirm.com/ocss/

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Common law + state trademarks (S3E72)


Did you know that a federally registered trademark isn’t the only form of trademark protection available?  There are actually three levels of protection in the U.S. trademark system — common law, state law registration, and federal (USPTO) registration.

While common law or state trademarks may work for some businesses, there are some significant downsides to each.

In this week’s episode you’ll learn:

  1. What a common law trademark is, and the limited rights this type of trademark provides
  2. The drawbacks to relying solely on a common law trademark
  3. Which types of trademark you can use the ® and ™symbols
  4. The benefits to filing a federal trademark registration
  5. The protections provided by a state trademark registration
  6. The downsides of relying solely on a state trademark registration

Key takeaway:  There are a few different levels of trademark protection offered on the state and federal level, as well on a common law basis. Which one is best for your business depends on multiple factors. It’s a good idea to consult with a trusted legal advisor to make sure you’re protected in the right ways and places for your business.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

Resources

Get your free ticket NOW for the Online Course Success Summit: http://awbfirm.com/ocss/

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

What is a trademark search and do I need one (S3E71)


Registering a trademark is a lengthy, multi-step process, and it can be tempting to skip the first step of running a trademark search before filing that registration application. But I’m sharing all the reasons why skipping the search is a bad idea.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What a trademark clearance search is and why you should do one every time you choose a name for a new business, product, or service
  • How you may be able to DIY your clearance search
  • When you still may be able to use a business or product name even if it’s already being used by someone else
  • How a knockout search helps determine what (if any) risks you may face if you apply to register your trademark with the USPTO
  • Why it’s so important to look at trademarks used for products and services that you don’t sell, but are related to what you sell, in a knockout search
  • What a search will tell you about how strong your trademark is, and how hard it will be to defend it if you do receive a trademark registration certificate

Key takeaway: Whether you start the trademark search process on your own, or work with a lawyer from the very beginning, one thing is for sure: failing to spend a little time and/or money on a trademark search early can be costly down the road.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

HOW to choose a good trademark (S3E70)


Some trademarks are stronger than others. But unfortunately, for a lot of business owners, they only find out their trademark isn’t strong when they’re denied when they try to register it with the USPTO.

So, what makes a good trademark?

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Who trademark law is really protecting
  • The four different types of word trademarks, and the pros and cons of each
  • Why sometimes you can use your last name as a trademark, and sometimes you can’t
  • The litmus test for understanding what in your business is or isn’t actually a trademark

Key takeaway: Choosing a strong trademark doesn’t have to be difficult. But to avoid heartache down the road, choosing the right name for your business and products early on is always best practice.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

WHEN should I register my trademark (S3E69)


Your business is established and thriving. Or maybe you haven’t even earned your first dollar yet. So, WHEN is the right time to register your trademark?

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The downsides to waiting to register a trademark
  • Why you may want to register a trademark for your product before you start selling
  • The ONE question to ask yourself to determine if you’re ready to register your trademark
  • How often you should take inventory of your business’s IP to evaluate what trademarks you have, and whether it’s time to register
  • Why failing to defend your trademark rights could result in your losing them

Key takeaway: Deciding on the right time to register your trademark depends on a lot of different factors in your business. But asking yourself the right questions will help you determine when you should register.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

This podcast is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

Why should I register a trademark anyway (S3E68)


We talk a lot about trademarks on the podcast, but you may still be wondering why you would ever need to register a trademark in your business.

While it may seem like a hassle, registering a trademark is one of the most valuable protections you can put in place in your business.

In this episode I cover:

  • The types of things that can be protected by a trademark
  • How a trademark can set you up for success if you ever decide to expand into other states
  • How a registered trademark can save you time and hassle if you ever have to file a lawsuit around your trademark
  • The advantage to registering your trademark if you do business abroad
  • How a trademark can help prevent counterfeiting
  • The value a registered trademark can add to your business if you ever look to sell or take on investment
  • How registering your trademark shows competitors you mean business

Key takeaway: If you’re committed to protecting your business for the long haul, a trademark registration should be on your list for 2019.

Additional resources:

Legal Road Map® episode 5: www.awbfirm.com/podcast5

Legal Road Map® episode 6: www.awbfirm.com/podcast6

5-minute IP audit: www.awbfirm.com/podcast

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.  You’ll learn how you can make more money from the copyrights and trademarks in your business (you can also sign up there to be the first to know when new episodes are live and receive other legal updates and special offers from the AWB Firm).

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