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Legal Road Map® Podcast S3E75 FB Live 86 part 2 – When MUST you register your trademark?

 

The VIDEO was cut off near the end of my Facebook Live, so this is Part 2 of 2…Please click here to view the first part of Episode 75.

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.

February 25, 2019

Legal Road Map® podcast S3E75 – FB Live 86 part 1 – When MUST you register your trademark?

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.

The video recording cut off, so PART TWO is on a separate page. Please click here to access the end of this episode.

February 25, 2019

Legal Road Map® Podcast S3E74 FB Live 85: Someone registered my TM – what can I do?

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.

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast74 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).

Next week is the final episode of Season 3 of the Legal Road Ma® 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!

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.

February 18, 2019

Podcast S3E73 FB Live 84 – #Trademarks: Can you own a hashtag TM?

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:

  • How to figure out if you’re really using a hashtag as a trademark
  • Why using your hashtag outside of social media may help you protect it as a trademark
  • The downsides to registering your trademark with a hashtag instead of just the words
  • 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: https://awbfirm.com/ocss/

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

February 7, 2019

Podcast S3E72 FB Live 83: Trademarks: Common law and state trademarks

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:

  • What a common law trademark is, and the limited rights this type of trademark provides
  • The drawbacks to relying solely on a common law trademark
  • Which types of trademark you can use the ® and ™symbols
  • The benefits to filing a federal trademark registration
  • The protections provided by a state trademark registration
  • 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 awbfirm.com/podcast to 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.

January 31, 2019

Podcast S3E71 FB Live 82: Trademarks: What’s a TM SEARCH and do I need one?

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/podcast71 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.

January 24, 2019

Podcast S3E70 FB Live 81 : HOW to choose a good trademark

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/podcast70 for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit worksheet.

January 17, 2019

Podcast S3E69 FB Live 80: Trademarks: When should you register?

Whether your business is established and thriving or you haven’t even earned your first dollar yet, deciding WHEN you should register your trademark could leave your head spinning.

In this week’s 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 awbfirm.com/podcast69 for show notes and further resources.

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

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January 11, 2019

Podcast S3E68 FB Live 79: Why should I register a trademark anyway?

Why should I register a trademark anyway?

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

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

January 4, 2019

Podcast S3E50 – FB Live 62 – Working with a virtual team: employees in other states

Having virtual team members classified as employees can carry complex legal considerations. This week I’m joined by our resident labor and employment whiz Michelle Coakley to talk about what you need to know to make sure your business is protected legally when it comes to having employees on your virtual team.

In this episode I cover:

  • The importance of properly classifying your workers
  • Two reasons why the government cares how you classify your workers
  • Best practice for how often you should audit your employment policy to check for federal and state & local compliance
  • Why you should be sure to do regular performance reviews
  • What you need to know about non-disclosure and non-compete agreements

Key takeaway: Employment laws and ordinances can vary widely not only state to state, but in some cases city to city. It’s important to seek out the right kind of advisors (legal, financial, human resources, etc.) to make sure your business is protected when it comes to employment matters.

Resources: Episode 12: Hiring employees and contractors the right way (with FREE download)

Episode 37: Labor & employment chat with AWB Attorney Michelle Coakley

LastPass

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast50 for a transcript and show notes, and sign up to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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.

August 9, 2018

Podcast S3E49 FB Live 61 contractors for virtual or multi location business

Working with a virtual team is a great way to grow your business, but how do you make sure you are properly working with remote contractors?
In this week’s Facebook Live video and podcast episode I begin to cover this important topic, touching on:

– How W-2 employee vs. 1099 independent contractor affects your business’s taxes and regulations you must comply with
– The biggest factor that determines who is or isn’t an employee
– What to be sure you include in your contracts with contractors
– Who owns the intellectual property created by an independent contractor
– The downside of including a non-compete clause in a contract (tip: this isn’t the same in every state!)

Key takeaway: It can be tricky to make sure you’re working correctly with a virtual or remote independent contractor. This is an area where you definitely want to consult with a trusted attorney to avoid major fines and penalties from getting it wrong.

www.awbfirm.com/podcast49

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

August 2, 2018

Podcast S3E45 – FB Live 57 – Trademark Infringement

When are you violating someone else’s trademark rights?  OR, flip-side, when should you get in touch with someone you think might be infringing your trademark and ask them to change it?

How can you interpret your search results when you type your trademark into the USPTO website?

I received this great question in an online business community, CoCommercial, and realized I’ve never dug into how lawyers, courts, and the USPTO evaluate when trademarks are too close.

This is a meaty episode on a complex topic, where I covered:

  • Consumer confusion – what trademark law is intended to prevent, and why this matters
  • Who has “priority rights” over a trademark in the US
  • When might you need to evaluate whether one trademark is too similar to another?
  • How to figure out if trademarks are too close
  • Does it matter if one trademark has a few extra words?
  • What about different spelling?
  • When are two logos too similar?
  • Does it matter if someone copied a trademark intentionally, or by accident?
  • Examples of trademarks that are and are not too similar
  • When you need to bring in an experienced IP attorney to help you evaluate a potential trademark infringement

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast45 to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit. 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.

July 6, 2018

Podcast S3E44 – FB Live 56 with Emily Allen, business strategist

Apologies for the tech glitch around minute 3:00 — I couldn’t see or hear Emily but she was on screen the whole time. We came back around 5:40 if you want to fast forward

Virtual Chief Operating Officer (COO). business strategist, and project manager Emily Allen and I discussed how a virtual COO can help your business.  Learn how you can stop getting distracted by all those shiny objects and actually meet your goals!

We chatted about why PLANNING is so critical to growing your business to seven or eight figures, and why it’s so hard for most entrepreneurs to find the time to do it.  Emily explained how a good project manager can help you prioritize which projects are going to help you achieve your big goals, and break them down into pieces so you can actually tackle them, or delegate to team members.

And, we talked about tracking project progress and outcomes to be sure you’re actually achieving what you set out to do.

Emily shared some of the benefits clients gain from working with a virtual COO or project manager, especially making sure you have the right team members in place and are filling their plates with the right tasks.

We talked about when it makes sense to bring in a project manager or virtual COO — this is not something a new business owner needs, but is critical when moving from six to seven figures.

I gave some insight to the changes I’ve seen in my own business after just a few weeks of working with Emily, and a few of my own a-ha moments.  And Emily talked about some mistakes business owners make trying to scale rapidly on their own without bringing in an experienced business strategist.

Emily Allen is a Virtual COO (Chief Operating Officer) for small to medium-sized woman-owned companies that don’t yet require the services of a full-time COO, but have the need for more strategy, more time to work on what they do best, and more structure with systems and processes without giving up more of their time.

Her main focus is on execution. Through working together, she is able to help define/refine the business strategy and provide accountability for execution to the appropriate members of the team.

She ensures that the company’s everyday activities run smoothly and that there is a company-wide strategic plan in place to support the vision of the company. Emily brings her experience in business planning and project management from her previous corporate life.

Emily is a wife, mom of 3 kiddos, certified project management professional living in northeastern Wisconsin and loves all things planning and organizing.

 

Visit www.awbfirm.com/podcast44 to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit. 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.

June 27, 2018

Podcast S3E43 – FB Live 55 with Heather Pranitis – Bookkeeping

Bookkeeper and financial advisor Heather Pranitis from Number Nerd Bookkeeping Solutions and I talked about why you need to know the numbers in your business if you want to scale to seven-figures.

We talked about what numbers you should be keeping your eye on (overhead! profitability!) as you grow. Heather also explained what a bookkeeper can help with, and why it’s worth talking with one early in your business, when you’re still keeping your own books, to make sure you are set up and recording things correctly.

We also chatted about when is the right time to hire a bookkeeper, and how to find someone who understands YOUR business’s revenue streams and systems. Heather stressed how your professional advisors (attorney, CPA, bookkeeper) should work together and be able to talk to each other to support your growing business.

Heather outlined the benefits to working with a bookkeeper, including understanding what your numbers really mean, getting time back by outsourcing bookkeeping, and gaining an outsider’s perspective and analysis of your business’s finances.

Then we went down the rabbit hole of how it might cost you more in the long run to keep your own books once your revenues reach a certain point, especially if you are using Paypal or Stripe or running payroll.

Find Heather’s business workflow templates (they’re awesome) here:

http://numbernerdbookkeepingsolutions.com/business-workflow-templates/

I’ll be interviewing more of my favorite pros in these categories later this month; you don’t want to miss it!

Number Nerd Bookkeeping Solutions is a full-service virtual bookkeeping firm that helps individuals and businesses of all sizes get their numbers in order. Number Nerd offers monthly bookkeeping and payroll packages, QuickBooks file reviews, QuickBooks training, accounting software setup, accounting cleanup, and business process consulting services to their clients around the world. Owned and operated by experienced bookkeeper and accounting workflow consultant, Heather Pranitis, Number Nerd excels at delivering customized solutions to bookkeeping challenges, easy-to-read financial reports, and simple answers to tough finance-related questions. The Number Nerd team partners with their clients to improve bookkeeping processes and establish good accounting habits.

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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.  

June 20, 2018

Podcast S3E42 – FB Live 54 – Melissa Whaley – financial planning

Tax advisor and financial strategist Melissa Whaley and I talk about why having a tax pro on your team is essential as you grow your business towards seven- or eight-figures! Learn the benefits of working with a financial advisor, how a pro can save money both short-term and long-term, and some pitfalls of DIY’ing this area of your business.

Melissa also explained the tax advantages to filing taxes as an S corporation, and when a business owner should at least have a consultation with a financial advisor who can help with tax planning.

We even talked about how you can lose the liability protection an LLC or corporation provides for your personal assets if you are commingling personal and business funds (piercing the corporate veil).

You can find out more about Melissa and her services here: https://melissawhaley.com/

I’ll be interviewing more of my favorite pros in these categories later this month; you don’t want to miss it!

Melissa Whaley is a licensed Tax Professional, Financial Strategist, and California Momma of 4. Melissa works virtually with creative business women who light up over their work and freak out over their numbers. She helps you create accounting systems that flow easily and turn those tax panic attacks into plans of attack. Her favorite things are sipping a good latte at a coffee shop with friends and exploring outdoors with her family.https://melissawhaley.com

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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 video is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.  

June 14, 2018

Podcast S3E41 – FB Live 53 – Building your professional team to grow

This month is all about building your team of professional advisors to reach your seven- and eight-figure business goals. I’m teaching why it’s crucial to have a CPA or tax professional, bookkeeper, operations or business manager (COO), financial advisor or CFO, and yes of course a lawyer!, as well as other advisors, on your team.

In this episode I cover:

  • How new businesses can begin building your professional network of “advisors” even if you’re not ready to hire them yet
  • When business owners should hire experts
  • The types of experts a seven- or eight-figure business needs
  • How to find the right experts to work with your business
  • Why you should budget for these professional services
  • The benefits of hiring the right professionals to help you plan your business’s growth
  • How our firm works with businesses on retainer for predictable, consistent legal guidance (it may surprise you!)

Resource referenced in this episode:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll also be interviewing a few of my favorite pros in these categories later this month, you don’t want to miss it!

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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 video is information, not legal advice specific to your situation.

June 7, 2018

Podcast S3E40 – FB Live 52 – GDPR training #3

In our third and final GDPR mini-training (“GDPR” is the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation), I covered:

  • What the GDPR is (briefly!)
  • Changes US businesses may need to make with their website if they use cookies
  • How do you know if your website uses cookies? (hint: if you use the Facebook ad pixel, Google analytics, or other ways to track your website visitors to other sites or target advertising to them, you’re using cookies!)
  • Three options for US businesses to comply with GDPR if they use cookies, including pop-ups, banners, and an “I agree” button
  • Recommended plug-ins to get your website GDPR compliant
  • Steps you can take right now in your business to comply with GDPR, not just with cookies

Ready to download our updated GDPR-compliant privacy policy template and get a free GDPR checklist? You can find it here: www.awbfirm.com/gdpr/

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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.

May 23, 2018

Podcast S3E39 – AWB Firm GDPR Webinar 5-15-2018

In our second GDPR mini-training (“GDPR” is the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation), I covered:

  • What the GDPR is (briefly!)
  • Changes US businesses may need to make with their email marketing, list building, lead magnets, opt-ins, downloadables, freebies, contact us forms, and checkout procedures for digital and physical products
  • Three options for US businesses to comply with GDPR in their opt-ins, including checkboxes on forms, double opt-ins, and more transparency
  • Do you need to delete your whole list, or do a re-engagement campaign?
  • What “consent” means under GDPR

Ready to download our updated GDPR-compliant privacy policy template? You can find it here: www.awbfirm.com/gdpr/

Sign up below to get a free 5 Minute Intellectual Property Audit.  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.

May 15, 2018

Podcast S3E38 – FB Live 51 – GDPR Compliance #1

By now you have probably been getting emails and heard other business owners talking about the “GDPR,” the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation.

My inbox is full of clients and friends who have tons of questions about this confusing new EU law that goes into effect May 25, 2018.

That’s why I’m providing lots of training opportunities to learn about this huge change to the legal rules for all U.S. companies that have a website.

In this week’s GDPR podcast I cover:

  • What the GDPR is
  • Which businesses need to comply
  • Penalties you could face if you don’t comply
  • An overview of the changes required by the law

Ready to download our updated GDPR-compliant privacy policy template? You can find it here.

BONUS:Sign up below to get a free GDPR Compliance Checklist.

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

May 9, 2018