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in today’s podcast, I talked to Michelle Whitehead, an Australian online lawyer, whose approach to law is radically different than what people perceive lawyers to be. I did a special announcement about my Ignite your Inner Venus free five day challenge which starts next Monday in my Facebook group Ange’s fabulous big vision incubator. You can sign up here if you want to join us (for the record, this is not my main business list). We will have lots of fun ramping up your sexy so you can be magnetic in your business.

So what is intellectual property and why is it important for online entrepreneurs. As Michelle so aptly nailed during our conversation, intellectual property is for most online entrepreneurs their only asset apart from their computer. Sadly, because legals usually scare people off, they don’t have a forward thinking vision about protecting their intellectual property which can mean some painful situation further down the line.

Intellectual property is divided into three main categories (this is not a law lecture, just an introduction for non lawyers): trademarks, copyright and trade secrets. I love how simple Michelle makes it sound. Trademarks are marks (names) under which you trade. They can be registered or not. But one of the most important thing to do as you start your online business is to make sure you are not using someone else’s name as this can results in extremely uncomfortable and sometimes very costly consequences. You need to do what lawyers call a “due diligence” which is to search at least google, but preferably also institutions that regulate trademarks (locally or internationally), to find out if someone is using a similar name and if your use of the name is likely to cause confusion in the market. Confusion is never a good idea.

Copyright is your right to own your copy. I love how Michelle put it. It made it almost obvious. Your business copy is the way you say things about a topic that others have written about. Your unique style and flavour. Ideas cannot be copyrighted and that is why the third category is trade secrets. Trade secrets are ideas or processes that are not protected by law and can only be protected by contract. The specific contract being a confidentiality agreement or Non disclosure agreement. This use to be my bread and butter in the mergers and acquisitions world I navigated in as an international  business lawyer.

If you would like to hear more in an entertaining way, head over to the podcast and listen to this week’s episode in stitcher, iTunes or with the player below. To find Michelle, head over to her website or her facebook page. I am an affiliate of Michelle and have purchased her DIY pack for terms and conditions which I highly recommend. If you ended up buying from her, I might receive a commisssion but it would in no case increase the price that you pay. Click to find out about her fabulous Serenity Collective or Castle Quest, her two membership programmes. Again, I am in the Serenity Connective and I highly recommend it. 

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2020

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