copyright, patent, trademark

iPscaling?

How did iPscaling come about? 

Years ago, I started by teaching live intellectual property training to startup entrepreneurs in person in small meeting rooms and classrooms all across the Tampa Bay region.?

My idea was to reach new startups before they made the common mistakes that I was seeing in my legal practice.??? Companies were being sued by larger competitors when they could least afford to defend a lawsuit. Business owners were putting the rights to iP in their own name, instead of the company name, or worse… neglecting to own the rights entirely … with all the problems and costs that you might be able to imagine. If you don’t own the iP, then somebody else does.

These classes were very effective for groups of 10 – 20 business owners, but hour-long classes would stretch into two hours with questions.

Then, I did the math. About 400,000 new businesses register with the Secretary of State’s office in Florida every year. I would have to give 20,000 classes a year just to reach all of the new business owners filing LLC and corporate registrations in Florida. But wait. That would mean 20,000 classes on copyright, plus and equal number on trademarks, plus an equal number on trade secrets… Well, you get the picture, right? I needed to find a way to scale… I had to listen to my own advice.

So, I started experimenting with technology as a way of reaching more business owners. It wasn’t easy. Back when I started, the technology for interactive teaching didn’t exist or was super clunky. Also, the idea was to reach business owners BEFORE they made mistakes, but passive videos on Youtube don’t work. There’s no accountability. No follow through. Busy business owners need encouragement to not only learn what they should do but also to get it done right.

Most business owners wanted me to do it for them, but overhead of a law firm is high. Many business owners either went without or had to save up money to pay even my firm’s reasonable flat fees, which add up fast. It also meant that I would never achieve my goal, because my firm can’t represent hundreds of thousands of clients. There are only 140 Florida Bar certified intellectual property attorneys in my state, last time I checked. Many of those are litigators and only represent clients AFTER the damage is done.

So, I started online training, the IP Workshop, which eventually was rebranded as iPmasterclass. What I realized is that business owners failed to grasp a fundamental concept, which was holding them back. Intellectual Property includes trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and patents, but intellectual property does not add value to a business. It’s a cost to a business. What does add value?

Intangibles.

Intangibles are the things you can’t see and can’t touch that intellectual property protects. It’s the good will in your brand, the value created from creative works that are exclusively yours, the competitive advantage from keeping your know-how, processes and specialized knowledge secret, the ability to prevent others without a license from using or selling your inventions, and much much more…

If you’re not understanding this right now, you’re not alone. I went back and forth with one very bright client to way to long trying to explain the difference between “good will” in a brand and the brand/trademark itself. Legally and financially they are two different concepts. A trademark assignment must transfer both the trademark and the associated good will. Otherwise, the assignment is invalid.

It’s things like this that can drive clients crazy.

Then, I had a thought. What if I could make it easy to understand the difference between “intangible” property or “iP” and intellectual property or IP? It took me awhile to find the right metaphor: the Concertina principle. But this took root, and business owners understood. It’s the iP that gives a business its competitive advantages, building value in the business. The IP merely helps to own and protect it, which allows the owner to grow its value without undue fear of loss. This idea gave birth to the “own protect grow” 3-step process, and iP scaling or “iPscaling” was born.

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copyright, domains, patent, trade secret

What Ownership Does…

Ownership is more than just owning something.

When I was an army officer, we assigned drivers to particular vehicles. Why? Drivers take pride in their vehicles and maintain them better when they take “ownership”. It was enough to assign the vehicle to the driver. Downtime was reduced.

Ownership is a mindset.

If you truly OWN your iP, others will respect it more. So, take the time to own your iP.

It doesn’t take that much time or money. Just make sure the agreements necessary to transfer rights in iP to your company are available and used.

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copyright

States Cannot Be “Authors”

State Governments Barred From Being Authors And Bringing Copyright Lawsuits

All members of government involved in lawmaking, including state legislators, are barred from being authors for purposes of copyright protection.

This decision upholds the 11th Circuit’s decision in Georgia et al. v. Public.Resource.org, Inc., No. 18-1150.

The State of Georgia sued under copyright law to take down a digital copy of an annotated code, which the accused infringer made freely available to the public. The annotations had been made by Matthew Bender & Co., Inc. under a work made for hire agreement that transferred ownership to the state of Georgia. But the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot be “authors” and cannot sue for copyright infringement of official documents under the Copyright Act.

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copyright

Copyright Fees To Increase March 2oth!

If you’ve been “thinking” of protecting your copyrights through registration with the Copyright Office, but putting it off, then NOW is the time. Why?

The Copyright Office has announced a MASSIVE fee increase, up to 55% for some types of registrations. This will go into effect on March 20th! But I’ve got you covered…  30% Off the iPscaling Creative Copyright Workshop!

Watch This Video!

Get everything you need:

  • All-In-One Work Made For Hire

  •  Copyright Registration Training

  • One-On-One Momentum Call

  • Bonus: Copyright Application Tool

I have a special offer until March 19th for the first 100 applicants. Just use the coupon code "FINALLY30off" to purchase instant access to my iPscaling Creative Copyright Workshop, and you'll get 30% off on all of this:

  • Step-by-step instructions on setting up your account with the copyright office.
  • Step-by-step instructions for registering your first copyright.
  • Training to understand copyright ownership. (Avoid the mistake many business owners make.)
  • Download & customize your all-in-one work made for hire agreement.
  • Training on how to use your all-in-one work made for hire agreement.
  • An introduction to copyright law and the benefits of registration.
  • Learn additional considerations for more complex registrations.
  • BONUS: Get free access to our copyright organizational tool.  (Available Soon.)
  • BONUS: Receive free training on our copyright organizational tool. (Available Soon.)

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copyright

How do I avoid copyright infringement?

Either independently develop or license from a reliable source all of the images and other works of authorship that you use personally and in your businesses. If you do this, then you won’t infringe anyone’s copyright.

There is a legal way to use copyrighted works in the US without getting a license. It’s called “fair use” and is a limited defense against copyright infringement for use of a copyrighted work for a specific purpose. There are 4 factors to consider:

  • the purpose and character of your use of the copyrighted work;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work, itself;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken (used); and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for the copyrighted work.

You’d like to know that your use is “fair use” BEFORE being sued. But this is a difficult analysis, even for an intellectual property attorney.

Typically, a legal opinion for a relatively easy analysis would cost $10,000. So, “fair use” is not for everyone.

Also, fair use is merely an affirmative defense to copyright infringement. So, relying on fair use basically admits infringement. If you’re analysis is wrong, it’s going to cost you.

So, it’s better to own or license works.

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copyright

Is there any copyright associated with classic fables like ‘Little Red Riding Hood’?

The purpose of copyright law is to give a incentive to the creative arts. The term of copyright exclusivity has increased over time, but there are still many works that are no longer protected by copyright.

These classics are in the public domain.

However, the version that most of us find familiar may not closely resemble the classic telling of the fable.

Copyright protects the the expression and not the idea. So, a new retelling of a classic fable is protected by copyright.

So long as your telling of the classic fable starts from the classic fable and is independently develops how you retell the story, you’re OK.

Of course, it would be wise to avoid similarities with any Disney version.

And asking for a copyright clearance search and opinion from a lawyer that specializes in copyright law would be a good idea if you plan to make significant money from your retelling.

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