The Secret to Protecting your Trade Secret

You probably know that intellectual property consists of trademarks, copyrights and patents. But how much do you know about trade secrets? And do you know that trade secret is also an intellectual property? Trade secrets are valuable assets proprietary to businesses. Recipes, formulae, marketing techniques, customer lists, business methods or anything that gives the business an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know it or use it, …

Have you Taken Measures to Protect your Business?

With the recent conclusion of New York Fashion Week, designers will be negotiating deals with stores and retailers. Typically, retailers have a strong bargaining chip when forming partnerships with designers. Designers, big or small, have almost no negotiating power if they want to enter into a vendor agreement with retailers/stores. This is applicable to others in the creative field – jewelry designers, artists, sculptors etc. When dealing with retialers and to protect …

What Does Copyright Protect?

I have seen that business owners often get confused about what is copyright and what is protectable by copyright. I am going to demystify some facts about copyright protection. In general, Copyright law protects literary works, musical works (including accompanying words), dramatic works (including any accompanying music), pantomimes and, choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural work. To put it simply, …

Is Your Brand Strong Enough to Qualify as a Trademark?

If you are an entrepreneur/business owner, chances are that  one of the first things you had to do was find a name for your business or brand – one that wasn’t already taken by another business owner. You did a Google search, grabbed the domain name because it was available, invested in marketing, advertising and promotional material, and started building your brand. I have seen that many entrepreneurs lean towards …

Are you Operating from a Gray Area in your Business?

I often see clients operating their business from a gray area where they are over delivering and burning themselves out in the process – all because they do not have a written contract defining their scope of services and the time commitment to each client. I recently had a new client, Jane, a design consultant, who has been in business for about 8 years. Jane contacted me after reading my …

How to Secure Your Business Through Contracts

Contracts are the life blood of any business. Business owners routinely make verbal agreements with their clients, customers, suppliers, vendors, and employees. But like my client, Katie, many of you have learned the hard way, the importance of a written contract. Katie is a stylist who reorganizes and redecorates people’s homes. Katie’s client hired her to redecorate her apartment. Katie verbally quoted her client and was paid $5000 to reorganize …

Don’t Lose $10,000 – Register Your Trademark

I have often seen business owners make the mistake of assuming that by registering their company they are registering their trademark. See the example below – all names have been changed for privacy (of course). My client, Susan, is a fashion designer. She registered her company, Clarity, Inc., with the New York Dept. of State, and started using Clarity as her brand. Susan invested $10,000 in creating and developing her …