Do you know what legal red tape you need to cross when branding your business? Does the idea of working with a lawyer immediately intimidate you? There are legal ramifications you need to consider as you’re building your business—but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Robert Wright covers intellectual property law and more in this episode of Maximizing Ecommerce.
Robert considers himself a geek about all things intellectual property. Driven by a desire to support entrepreneurs he had two choices: work for a big law firm or start his own practice. Today, he operates a virtual law practice specializing in intellectual property, protecting the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.Do you know what legal red tape you need to cross when branding your business? From forming an LLC to registering a trademark, it’s all covered in this episode of #MaxiimizingEcommerce with guest Robert Wright! #Ecommerce #AmazonSeller… Click To Tweet
Outline of This Episode
- [2:00] Set up your business for success
- [3:20] Today’s guest, Robert Wright, is introduced.
- [7:15] Robert learned to sell on Amazon to understand client’s needs
- [12:00] Where to start with branding your business from a legal standpoint
- [18:40] How to properly go about trademarking and protecting your brand
- [35:00] Surround yourself with experts in the industry—including a lawyer
- [45:40] Dealing with challenges such as cease and desist letters
- [52:10] Business is a great challenge and adventure
Branding your business begins with making it official
To better understand his clients, Robert learned how to sell on Amazon. He launched a private label brand and has been selling for years. It’s brought him steady income as well as knowledge he wouldn’t have gained otherwise. This better positions him to be of help to clients struggling with legal issues related to selling online.
Robert states you don’t need to make things more complicated than they need to be—but your business needs to be official. So what does that mean? If you’re running an Ecommerce business you need to operate as a formal business entity. One of the easiest routes to take is becoming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Robert talks about the interesting history of LLC’s as well as other routes you can take—keep listening!
Register your trademark to protect your brand
After you have a formal operating agreement in place the next thing you need to consider to protect the brand you’re building is registering your trademark. This gives you the legal right to sell everywhere under your brand name—and no one else can use it. It is important to go through this process as early as you can. Why?
If you don’t register your trademark, someone can steal your brand out from under you.
A particular client of Robert’s had their ‘buy box’ on Amazon removed. They reached out, and after some research, Robert found out someone else had taken their name and identifying mark and registered it. His client was forced to completely re-brand and completely start over. Continue listening as Robert and Kevin talk about how to keep this from happening and the difference between the principal and supplemental register.Did you know you need to register your trademark to protect your brand? Attorney Robert Wright talks with Kevin about intellectual property law in this episode of #MazimizingEcommerce. #Ecommerce #AmazonSeller #ProductSales #Entrepreneurship… Click To Tweet
What makes a good trademark?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a great resource for understanding the process. You can also use their site to make sure that your name isn’t already registered and in use. If you’re just starting and haven’t chosen a specific brand name Robert tells us the general rule regarding trademarks:
A name is more easily trademarked if it is fanciful or distinctive.
You can’t use something descriptive or generic such as “red blankets”. It’s not recommended to use a surname and you certainly can’t trademark a name that is too similar to something already registered. Think about some of the more recognizable names out there—Nike, eBay, OREO cookies, Lego and so forth. You want to create a name that is unique, memorable, and distinctive.
Why you need a professional team to protect your business
Robert freely admits that lawyers tend to get a bad rap. They’re portrayed in the media as evil or conniving, outrageously expensive, or just as rotten people. But you need to overcome the stigma surrounding lawyers because you NEED an intellectual property lawyer on your team. They might not be as expensive as you’re led to believe.
Plus, paying the fee to meet with a lawyer for an hour could save you thousands of dollars.
Why? If you’re not consulting with a lawyer and haven’t taken steps to properly protect your business you could lose it (such as the example given earlier). The old adage states that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s important to surround yourself with a team of experts—a lawyer included. Business is a great challenge and adventure. Be sure you’re legally well-prepared when challenges arrive.Lawyers tend to get a bad rap—but having an intellectual property lawyer on your team is a smart move to protect your business. Listen to this episode of #MaximizingEcommerce with attorney Robert Wright for more information! #Ecommerce #Trademark… Click To Tweet
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Robert Wright
Connect With Kevin Sanderson
TweetsThe process of branding your business begins with making it official—as an LLC, corporation, partnership and more. Learn more in this episode of #MaximizingEcommerce with attorney Robert Wright! #Ecommerce #AmazonSeller #ProductSales… Click To Tweet Do you know what makes a good trademark? Is properly branding your business something you struggle with? For helpful pointers and advice listen to this episode of #MaximizingEcommerce with intellectual property attorney Robert Wright. #Ecommerce… Click To Tweet