Category Archives: Protect It

Four legal issues in your crowdfunding campaign.

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You are a creative entrepreneur with a massive vision expanding every day. Some of your friends have run successful crowdfunding campaigns for their businesses and you’ve wondered if you should do the same. Before President Obama signed the JOBS Act in 2012, you could only give your crowdfunded investors (or backers) rewards. You know? A signed t-shirt. An autographed print. Limited edition tote bag. Now, with the JOBS Act, Title III equity crowdfunding rules approved by the Securities and Exchange



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[#PrinceTaughtUs] Legal lessons we can learn from Prince about creative entrepreneurship

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Prince was no stranger to legal matters and doing what was necessary to protect his intellectual property ownership. In 1993, we saw him change his name from Prince to The Artist Formerly Known As… in order to get out of a contract with Warner Brothers. Then, there was the 2008 Coachella débâcle where he sent similar takedown notices to YouTube demanding removal of his performance of Radiohead’s song “Creep.” In 2013, we saw him send DMCA takedown notices to Vine for six



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[Building a Brand] The #GIRLBOSS Intellectual Property Strategy

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Just ten years after the launch of an e-bay store with a highly curated selection of vintage threads, Sophia Amoruso has turned both Nasty Gal and #GIRLBOSS into a serious creative empire. I’ve been watching the evolution of her company and brand for quite some time now. When I learned the latest news — that we’ll soon see a #GIRLBOSS original series on Netflix — I had to write about the intellectual property strategy behind the brand. I think her story showcases an



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Why you should hire a Trademark Attorney + the real cost of DIYing your trademark.

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You probably read the title:  Why You Should Hire a Trademark Attorney + The Real Cost of DIYing Your Trademark and wanted to click that little x, close out and read some feel-good story of the day. But, stick with me and I guarantee you’ll appreciate the raw honesty. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably understand just how important it is that you own the trademarks for your brand. You may be toying with the idea



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What key things do you need to know about Limited Liability Companies?

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If you’re launching a business while working, you need to set up a formal business structure after consulting with an attorney, of course). I’ve explained the number one reason why you must take that step here. Owning a business isn’t just about setting up any business structure at random. There is no one-sized fits all approach to this decision. What’s best for your entrepreneur friends may not be what’s best for you. Start educating yourself on the differences between the various business



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Why you need a legit business structure (even if you’re an artist, creative or not sure what this business really is yet).

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There’s a common misconception amongst the artist and creative entrepreneur community and it’s high time to set the record straight. You’ve probably heard it. You may have even whispered it to a fellow creative because you unequivocally believed it to be true. For some reason, you’ve believed that since you’re business isn’t big yet, or since you are just taking clients here and there, or because you’ve only sold your [insert cool thing] to a few people that you don’t need to formally set



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If you’re launching (a biz) while working you must know 3 things about your employment agreement.

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I know what it’s like. You’ve been job hunting forever (and ever). Finally, you land a gig that is the perfect fit (for right now). You can finally relax a bit. You’re beyond ready for that first pay check. You don’t even mind that your new company told you there’s going to be a three week waiting period… In the frenzy and excitement of new jobship, you can’t wait to sign those papers. All of the papers. Yesss. When you



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What is the biggest risk of launching a business while working?

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You are working a 9- to 5- with ambitions of entrepreneurship. You’ve had a few signs make you realize that the time is now. If not right now you at least want to start making some serious traction towards your move. Let’s call it your grand escape. See, it’s not even so much that you hate your gig (or maybe you do). But, that draw to launch your own business is more compelling than what you do behind someone else’s desk every single



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How do you protect your trademarks when collaborating with someone else?

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As a creative entrepreneur, you are probably exploring collaborations and partnerships with other peeps. These collabs are likely to manifest in the form of: A signature event A class A bundle of services A single service offering Or maybe you’ve decided to partner up more long term and actually form a business with someone. Either way, one of the first topics you should address is…. *Insert drum roll* “Who owns the name?” Yep. So, how do you protect your trademarks when collaborating



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What is a trademark clearance + why you absolutely must have one.

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There are two very important (read: equally as important) steps in the trademark process. The first step is the trademark clearance, and second is the trademark registration. Usually, when peeps are trying to DIY their trademark registrations, they skip the first part. And, that’s why we are going to discuss it here. What is a trademark clearance? A trademark clearance is a full review of common law (unregistered) trademarks, pending and abandoned trademark applications, and existing and expired trademarks to



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