Understanding and Defending Trademarks
Today we are continuing our legal series with Internet, Data Privacy, and Intellectual Property Lawyer John DiGiacomo of RevisionLegal.com. John specializes in both IP and businesses on the web—both subjects that a lot of lawyers don’t know much about—so it’s great to have him back on the show.
Last week we talked about all things patents, and today we’re going to do the same with trademarks. This is an interesting and relevant topic, especially given that Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 requires you to file a trademark if you want to have any kind of brand protection. Listen in to hear the crucial things you need to know when it comes to trademarks.
The difference between a regular trademark and a registered trademark.
What a trademark protects.
Strategies for defending a trademark.
Tips for people filing for Brand Registry 2.0.
Andrew: Welcome to “The eCommerceFuel Podcast,” the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies, and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow ecommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian.
Hey, guys, Andrew here, and welcome to “The eCommerceFuel Podcast.” Thanks so much, for joining me on the show today. And today we are continuing our legal series with John DiGiacomo from revisionlegal.com. John is a IP, intellectual property, an online/online business lawyer. He specializes in both IP and your businesses on the web, which is something a lot of lawyers don’t know a lot about. So it’s very cool to have his expertise.
Last week, we talked about patents, all things patent-related. Today, we’re gonna do the same thing, but on trademarks, the difference between a regular TM versus a registered trademark, what a trademark protects, strategies for defending a trademark, when you should go broad, when you should go narrow, all sorts of stuff.
So, it’s an interesting discussion, particularly with the fact that with Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 you have to file a trademark if you wanna be able to have any kind of brand protection on Amazon. That’s just table stakes these days. So, it was fun to be able to dive in with him and really geek out on this. So, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
But first, I wanna say a big thank you to our two incredible sponsors. First, the team at Liquid Web who offers world class hosting for your WooCommerce store. One cool thing about Liquid Web, they just bought a company called iThemes, who makes premium WordPress plugins and tools. You may have heard of them.
Why is this cool? Well, because they’re taking a lot of the tech from that company, a lot of the plugins, for example, a tool called Sales Accelerator, which gives you these beautiful custom dashboards right in your WordPress admin that are highly customizable. And they’re working that into their core managed WooCommerce offering, so you get that for free.
They’re doing stuff like this constantly to try to improve their core product, and just kind of speaks to the DNA of this company. They know WooCommerce, they know WordPress, they’ve got a highly trained staff there that really cares about it, and there’s no better place to host your WooCommerce store. So, if you wanna learn more about them, you can do that at ecommercefuel/liquidweb.
And then secondly, I wanna thank the team over at Klaviyo who makes email automation incredibly easy and powerful, so you can make more money from your email efforts. One cool part about their offering is their reporting, incredibly detailed. You can track everything from all of your flows, across open rates, click through rate, purchase rates, how much revenue each flow is generating, unsubscribes. You can track a lot of these stats over time to see if you have any worrisome trends.
And one of my favorite features on the reporting is their real time activity feed. If you’re not careful, you can get sucked into this thing for…45 minutes just disappears. You can see how everyone is interacting in real time with your emails, what they’re doing on your store, and how that actually, you know, what actions lead to purchases, or other things like that. It’s pretty cool.
Understanding The Types of Trademarks
So, if you’re not using them and you wanna up your email game, get more money from the efforts that you’re putting into email, you can start with a free trial at ecommercefuel.com/klaviyo.
All right, thank you, guys. And with that being said, let’s start getting into the nitty gritty on trademarks.
Trademarks, you’ve got two different types of trademarks. You’ve got kind of the TM and the R with the circle, the registered trademark. And my understanding on those is a TM, you can just claim just whenever. You create a brand new logo, you put them on there. You’re more or less saying, “This is unique. This is mine.” Kind of a self-registered trademark, I guess you could call it. It’s probably the wrong word.
Whereas a registered trademark is one where you actually register with the trademark division. It’s protectable. It’s an official one. Am I getting that right between the two?
John: Yeah, well, for the most part. So, trademark rights are created by using commerce. So, as soon as you start using a word, or phrase, to indicate the origin of your goods or services, you have trademark rights. And that’s called a Common Law Trademark. The Common Law Trademark right is limited to the geographic location in which the mark is being used. So, for example, if I’m in Michigan and I’m selling Nike shoes only in Michigan, then I only have Common Law Trademark rights within that territory.
The TM, and historically, the SM were used to indicate that you were claiming Common Law Trademark rights. So, that doesn’t mean that your trademark is registered, it just means, “Hey, I’m claiming that I own this, and therefore I’m telling other people that I do own it.”
A registered trademark is…well, let me back up a bit. The federal government decided, “Hey, we wanna get rid of kind of this common law problem that we have because we’ve got trademarks in all kinds of different territories. Hey, let’s give people an incentive to register them at the federal level.”
So, they created the federal registration system. And what that does is it allows you to you register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in Alexandria, Virginia, and then you get nationwide priority over everybody else to that trademark so that there’s never any conflict as to whether or not you own it, and there’s never any conflict as to whether or not you have the right to use it.
The other benefits that are associated with federal registration are things like being able to file a federal lawsuit, being able to get up to two million in damages without having to show damages for counterfeiting.
That’s really important, because litigation is really expensive, and the statutory damages that you receive from a registered trademark provide, you know, a guy like me who’s just looking for money, you know, as all attorneys are, with an incentive to take your case because now I know that I can go out and I can, if there’s a collectible defendant, I can assert your rights without you having to pay me, and I know I’m gonna get something out of it. That’s another benefit.
Then, you have the even better benefit, which is that you can get attorney’s fees and litigation. So I have an even larger incentive to take your case. Those are kind of the things that you get when you file for registration, not just those, but many others. But those are kind of the high level principles that happen when you get trademark registration, and then you can use the circle R.
Registering a Trademark
Andrew: You mentioned, when we were talking, you know, earlier about patents, the risk of if you don’t get an official patent even if you’ve produced something and have a unique prototype, or even a full scale production product that uses something new, somebody else can come in, register for the patent, even if they can’t pull it off on a production level, and they can steal your IP.
With a trademark, is that the same? Or, like let’s say if you just use Revision Legal, for example, your business, I’m sure you have that trademark as registered, correct?
But assuming you didn’t, if you had been running your business for four or five years, it’s very obvious you had been under that name, could somebody come five years in and register the registered trademark and still be able to take that out from underneath you, or is it different in trademarks versus patents?
John: It’s very complex. The answer is that it is different, and it is based on using commerce. So, if I use Revision Legal in Michigan, and I had never advertised outside of the state of Michigan, and somebody from Pennsylvania filed for a federal registration of that term, they would have priority over me once they got their registration in every state other than Michigan. So, I would be a carve-out because I had used first, but I would be prohibited from using that trademark in any other jurisdiction.
It becomes a really difficult kind of conceptual thing to deal with if you don’t file for federal registration early, because if there are competing common law rights all of a sudden, it’s very expensive to not spill over into a territory, it’s very expensive to target your advertising to a specific territory. There are a lot of problems with not filing for federal registration, which is why most attorneys are gonna say, “Do it early, do it often.”
Similar Trademarks, Separate Industries
Andrew: Yeah, it makes sense. When you’re looking at a trademark, is it…you mentioned “Geographically limited,” is it also limited based on your business type, like, on a national level? Like, if you’ve got a “Grandma Jenny’s” cookies versus a “Grandma Jenny’s,” you know, hankies, or napkins, you’ve got, you know, apparel versus in the food space. Can you get a trademark that is very similar if you’re in a different industry?
John: Yeah, definitely. My favorite example is Delta Airlines versus Delta Faucets, because they are…yeah, they’re different categories of goods and services. And when you file for a federal registration, there’s a little manual called The Trademark Manual of Acceptable Goods and Services, and it has a list of categories.
An attorney looks at that manual and then they say, “Okay, we’re gonna file in these categories.” When you get a registration, your registration extends to those categories of goods and services. At common law, your rights extend to the goods and services that you sell under your trademark. So, yeah, there’s definitely a limitation. There is plenty of room there for different uses within different categories.
Registered Trademarks in the World of Amazon
Andrew: Have you seen a big jump in people coming to you to register given Amazon’s kind of Brand Registry 2.0? The way I understand that they, to be able to register your brand in their new system, you actually have to have not just a common law, but you have a registered trademark that gives you some nice benefits to be able to protect your IP on Amazon. But have you seen a big, a pretty big spike in people doing that?
John: Yeah. I wouldn’t say huge spike, but I have seen a spike. We definitely have, you know, we track all this stuff internally in our CRM, so we have seen an increase in registrations. I think the difficult thing from our end as attorneys is that that’s kind of not the end of the analysis. The registered trademark gets you into the brand registry, but then everybody wants brand gating. That’s an entirely different animal, a very difficult animal to deal with.
And then they believe that the brand registration will protect them from the infringement issues that they experienced prior to registration, and it’s just not, it’s not happening that way, unfortunately.
A History of Brand Gating
Andrew: Can you dive into that a bit more? Can you describe brand gating, for people who don’t know what that is? And then also describe how that getting in Brand Registry 2.0 the scenarios which people think they’ll be protected in and which they’re actually not.
John: Well, there’s…so I’ll start with the latter. Well, I guess let me say that filing for registration, and getting into the new brand registry, Brand Registry 2.0, doesn’t stop the work-arounds. So, it does confirm your buyer box spot, but it’s not gonna prohibit, you know, using ad text and kind of SEO gaming. People will expect that it will, but it won’t.
And it doesn’t change Amazon’s customer service. Amazon has assigned low level customer service employees, for the most part, to the brand registry. You can push them. Sometimes they work for you, sometimes they don’t. We have one brand registry client right now who has an ongoing infringement problem. I keep sending Amazon messages, and they close it out without answering.
And so, every day, I go in and I bump the message to reopen it, so they have to come back in and close it out again.
Andrew: So, this is somebody who’s got…they’re on Brand Registry 2.0, and they’re having… what kind of brand problems are they still running into despite…? Is it people that are selling their branded product on a different listening, or what is it that they’re running into?
John: It’s selling their branded product on a different listing, and specifically, counterfeiting. So, it is sourced from the same place and using the same trademark, the box content is exactly the same. We’ve done test buys. We’ve conveyed all of this to Amazon, and still, the Brand Registry 2.0 reps are not doing anything about it. So, in those situations, my answer typically is well, we need to sue Amazon. And a lot of clients aren’t willing to do that, but it really is the way to get their attention.
The brand gating stuff is very similar. So, everybody believes that because branding gating, some people have been brand gated, that it is a possibility for everyone. What we’re finding is that, unfortunately, brand gating is not as prevalent as people believe it is. There are a lot of people out there selling brand gating services that really shouldn’t be selling them, because it’s frankly, a crapshoot.
The advice that I’m really giving people is that if you have a serious counterfeiting issue and Amazon is not dealing with it, you have to file a suit, and you’ve gotta name Amazon, because you’ve got to get their attention. And Amazon is such a large company now that it really seems that that is the only way to really get their attention now.
How Amazon Is Trying to Deal With Counterfeiters
Andrew: When you say brand gating, do you mean that you’re the only person who’s authorized to be able to sell either on Amazon, or to Amazon, directly for a given brand?
John: Yeah. So let me talk about this at a high level. Under copyright law, service providers like Amazon are provided with a safe harbor. That safe harbor, basically, allows them to be immune from an infringement lawsuit if they remove items expeditiously when they are notified that those items are infringing.
Trademark law does not provide that benefit. So, under trademark law, if you have knowledge that infringement is occurring on your system, specific knowledge, then you can be held liable as a contributory infringer. And then in other cases where you’re receiving monetary payment from infringement, you can be held liable as a vicarious infringer. We call those “Secondary Liability” under trademark law.
The advice that I’m really giving people is that if you have a serious counterfeiting issue and Amazon is not dealing with it, you have to file a suit, and you’ve gotta name Amazon, because you’ve got to get their attention.
Amazon, in order to avoid the wide range of lawsuits that it would face if people do about these documents because of the wide scale infringement that occurs on its network, has adopted this brand gating policy to provide people who are the most vocal, or have the most large scale counterfeiting issues, to have their trademarks registered with Amazon to block the use of those marks in listings without knowledge or without approval of the trademark holder.
That is Amazon’s way to avoid secondary liability. Unfortunately, they’re not doing it for everybody. And there is no real documented process by which everybody can take advantage of it, so what happens is you have people who have very large scale infringement problems but are kind of low value client to Amazon, and they’re left out in the cold because they don’t do anything about it. My recommendation to them is, typically, file a suit, get their attention. They’re gonna come to the table, and you’ve gotta negotiate with them.
Lost? Here’s A Brand Gating Example
Andrew: So, an example of that would be, for example, Nike, they get brand gated, and unless you are Nike’s official Amazon account, even if somebody puts a full listing, maybe they even use the word Nike in the description, or in the bullets, or in the enhanced brand content, that will be automatically just denied unless… Is that kind of the idea behind it?
John: Yeah. So, I do this from the service provider perspective. I represent several service providers, and from that side, what’s happening on the backend is that the developers are doing a keyword block, a keyword analysis, and then block, so that if you attempt to type that keyword into the listing, it’s blocked and prohibited.
They have some kind of algorithms that well, do not exact match blocks. And then in a lot of cases, they have, for larger, more sophisticated clients optical character recognition for images, and then also image recognition, which is very costly and so it’s limited to the people who potentially, are gonna sue them for the most amount of money.
So, these tools do exist in the backend, and these companies are very serious about solving these problems for companies that could potentially put them out of business through massive lawsuits. Unfortunately, the smaller guys are losing out because they are not in the same position to negotiate.
How To File for a TM
Andrew: Thinking about, kinda maybe going a little back to the beginning, thinking about registering, you know, applying for a registered trademark, you know, obviously, you’re an attorney and you’re gonna do a better job than somebody just who’s self-educated doing it, but is it easier to…for someone to self, you know, self-apply for a trademark, versus let’s say, like I’m guessing it’s much easier than a patent?
But if somebody is going to do it themselves, like what are the things that they need to be aware of, and what are the, maybe, the benefits or things they’re not gonna think of that having a lawyer help them with it would protect them against?
John: So, yeah, I think you’re correct. The likelihood of success in self-filing and trademark registration is relatively high in comparison to patent. It’s still not very high. So, we pulled the XML data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, and we can run an analysis to see the likelihood of a unrepresented applicant achieving registration, and it is pretty low. People do that analysis all the time.
With that said, there’s a lot of really good services out there, frankly. A lot of people that are just starting out, LegalZoom solves the problem for them. And if they’re not concerned about getting a trademark registration that will be upheld in litigation, that might be a really good solution for them.
There’s also kind of the middle of the road providers like Trademark You, which when you file the forms like LegalZoom does, it assigns an attorney to your application so that if any office actions, or issues, any rejections happen, they can help you with those rejections.
Again, not a terrible solution. It’s not what I would do, and it’s not what our larger clients do. And the reason for that is because attorneys provide more value. The stuff that we do that I think is important to kind of your listeners is we do clearance searches, but we do them right, and we know what to look for. And a lot of the practice of law is not just data, or parsing data, it’s really a lot of intuition, which sounds crazy, but it really is. It’s seeing things that happen before they happen.
When we do clearance searches, we know exactly what to look for, and we can identify risks. We also know how to position your trademark for it to become the strongest possible mark. So, when we look at an application, we position you in a way to get the strongest amount of rights now, but we also think about how can we achieve even stronger rights in the future?
That’s something that can’t be done by a computer yet. It will be in the future, obviously, but right now, it’s something that I think attorneys provide more value than computers do.
And frankly, we look at these things from a litigation perspective. When we get into litigation and I’m on the defense’s side, the first thing I do is look at the trademark prosecution and registration history, and I look at ways to attack it. And if I see illegals in filing, I smile and I know that I’m gonna make a lot of money, and I’m gonna make my client really happy, because it’s just…they’re always full of errors.
Attorney filings are always full of errors, but at the very least, they are errors that can be fixed because they were, you know, there was some thought behind them at the outset.
Frankly, in litigation, LegalZoom filings, Trademark You filings, they end up costing so much more. And I’m not just saying thousands of dollars more, but I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars more. So for businesses that are like growth trajectory, or that are currently large and have a lot of risk, I would advise them not to go that route. I would talk to a real attorney.
A Best Practice Tip for Filing
Andrew: When you file a trademark, do you do it as an entire incident? Like, I think about a brand, a brand usually has, you know, colors, there’s words, there’s images, those are kind of three big things, at least, just from my very, you know, non-trained background thinking about it from that perspective. Do you file all those together? Like, when you file a trademark, does it protect all those elements, visual and kind of, you know, text elements, word elements, of the brand, or do you have to file them separately?
John: This is our practice tip. Trademark attorneys, typically, if they can get you a character mark, that’s what they’re gonna recommend. A character mark is just the words. And the reason for that is the words have the broadest scope of protection. If, for example, you were using eCommerceFuel with a logo, and you decided to change that logo five years from now, as long as you had a registration for the words, that wouldn’t have any bearing on the scope of your rights.
A design plus words mark is a design plus a character mark, but the rights only extend to the use of those terms within the logo. So, for example, if you are using eCommerceFuel design, and you later changed the scope of that design, or the color of it, the trademark that you received would only cover the prior design, so you would have to file for a new one, which is why we go for the character mark.
And then there are other iterations of that: color versus gray scale. Gray scale is typically better because it provides you with a broader scope of protection. Color actually limits the scope of protection, because it limits your rights to that specific color. And if you file in gray scale, you can use any color.
These are all things that we look at when we’re filing for registration. For most clients, I’m gonna recommend a character mark. For our larger clients, I typically will look at the design plus words mark, and a character mark, depending on what they’re looking for. For our really large clients, like our publicly-traded clients, we’ll file for everything. We’ll get five color iterations, we’ll get the design mark, we’ll get the character mark, etc.
Tips on Filing for Brand Registry 2.0
Andrew: John, any tips or recommendations for people filing for Brand Registry 2.0? Is there anything that when you’re filing that trademark, specifically for, you know, for Amazon Brand Registry, that you can do that will increase your scope of protection, or make it easier to get registered? Anything related to Amazon when you’re filing, people should be thinking about?
John: With brand registry particularly, I would look at an EU community mark as well. So, if you’re filing in the United States but you’re also selling in the European Union, a European community mark is a really good investment, because it will provide you with protection throughout the European Union. And you can base it on the priority, meaning the filing date of your U.S. application.
So if you can kind of kill two birds with one stone, and you can get protection in the E.U., and potentially, registry in the E.U. with Amazon as well, that’s gonna be a better return on investment for you. It’s worth looking at that if you’re thinking about registering within the United States.
What’s General Copyright?
Andrew: Talk a little bit just about general copyright. I kinda saved this for last, the big three, because I think it’s most straight forward, but would love to touch on it anyway because I’m probably wrong. So, you know, patents protect of course, the design, the utility of something, but trademark is kind of the image, the look, the branding. The copyright is gonna be more of the actual text to the image, something more based on media. Am I understanding that correctly?
John: Yeah, that’s correct.
Andrew: Okay. So, is there a same thing with patents and trademark? Are there registered and unregistered copyrights, or is it just as simple as what I’ve heard, is that you, you know, you pretty much claim copyright on a site, or on your images, and as long as you claim that it’s pretty much yours, as long as you have a reasonable way to prove that you were the first one to create that product, or a text, or image, is that how it works?
John: Yeah. So, just like trademarks, copyrights are common law. Basically, the term is as soon as something is fixed in a tangible medium of expression, you have copyright rights to it. So, as soon as you write something down, or you record it, or it’s stored in temporary RAM as one case says, that item is fixed enough for copyright protection, and therefore, you have copyright rights.
There is, like trademark as well, a benefit to federal registration. Federal registration provides you with damages, statutory damages, of up to $150,000 per work infringed.
So, that means that again, in a copyright infringement lawsuit, instead of having to show how much your work would have been licensed for, or relying on the defendant’s minimal sales to recover your damages, you can use a giant stick, and you can convince your attorney to use a giant stick because there is a huge potential damages award that gives attorneys an incentive to take the case.
The same is true for attorney’s fees. Just like with trademark, there is the opportunity to obtain attorney’s fees as a prevailing party in a copyright infringement lawsuit. So, again, another reason why an attorney like me would look at that case and say, “Okay, yeah, I’ll take this on contention fee. You don’t have to pay me.”
Avoid a $150K Fine!
Andrew: And that federal copyright suit, do you have to do that…so, somebody, for example, could do that for just one image, and theoretically, if someone else used that image on a blog post, or a mailing, without permission or licensing, they could get up to $150,000 just for that one use that was not authorized?
John: Yeah, that’s correct. As long as it was willful infringement, that would be a potential, certainly.
How to Protect Your Brand
Andrew: Wow. So, for something like that, can you file for that broadly to say for example, any image I take in 2018 as an e-commerce store owner, I wanna file it collectively for that federal protection, or do you have to do it for every single blog post, every single image, every single song, or whatever it may be?
John: So, there are a number of filings depending on what the scope of the rights that is claimed is. Typically, what I tell people is because copyright registrations must be filed within three months of publication, or prior to infringement, it makes sense for people to file for registration approximately quarterly of their works. So, if you’re running an e-commerce store, I will tell you, use a web crawler, like a private web crawler.
And I’ll say, export data, we’ll wrap it up, file it at the U.S. Copyright Office every quarter. And that way, if we discover infringement, or we discover that a scraper has pulled that content from your site, you have registration, we can rely on that registration and we can file a federal lawsuit.
Andrew: Wow, that’s pretty compelling, from a protection standpoint. What does it cost, let’s say, for an e-commerce store whose, you know, maybe they’ve put out a couple of dozen videos, 100 images, and let’s say, you know, a couple dozen blog posts, you rep that up on a quarterly basis. What does it cost to file a federal copyright for something like that, all part?
John: So, we charge a flat fee of $350 for registration. You know, with that said, if you know what you’re doing, you can do it yourself, obviously. There’s an electronic filing system called eCo, which is eco.copyright.gov. It’s basically a, just an e-filing system. Copyright is not as complex as trademark, or as patent, and there are no attorneys on the other side at the U.S. Copyright Office examining what you’re doing, so if you wanna take the risk and you wanna file it yourself, you can certainly do that.
The benefit, again, that attorneys provide, is that if you are in litigation and there’s a filing error, it’s the first thing that we attack. I’m doing it again in another…I have litigation in Maryland right now, and we’re going right after the copyright, and I think we’re gonna win on it. It’s something to take seriously if you potentially are gonna face some serious infringement issues, but otherwise, you can probably do it yourself.
Andrew: And those eco.copyright.gov?
John: I’m sorry, it’s E-C-O.
John: ECO. What does DCMA stand for? What is it, and how does that apply to defending your IP copyright, or even if it bleeds over into, you know, trademark, or even patent?
All About The DMCA
John: So, the DMCA is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is Section 512 of the Copyright Act. And it says that service providers, again, like Amazon, eBay, those types of places, have a safe harbor from claims of secondary liability, claims of vicarious or contributory copyright infringement, if they expeditiously, meaning quickly, remove items from their site when they receive a notification from a right’s holder.
And so what that means is that if Amazon acts on your notification to remove copyrighted material, then you cannot sue them for contributory or vicarious liability for copyright infringement. So, it gives them a really huge incentive to act quickly, and to take that stuff down. Once it’s down, the individual who is on the other side, has the opportunity to file a counter-notification.
And unfortunately, we’ve been seeing a lot of these counter-notifications, especially coming from sophisticated parties in China, because what happens is if they file a counter-notification and you do not file a lawsuit within 10 days, then the content is restored on the website. And so what these parties are doing, knowing that e-commerce store owners will not file a lawsuit because it’s too expensive to do so, is they will file a counter-notification, they don’t care about the risk, and the content gets restored.
So it’s kind of, in some cases, we see it as a bit of whack a mole, but for the most part, the DCMA is a pretty effective tool for store owners.
Andrew: If in that case where let’s say they, you know, send a counter-notification, so the owner, the person who originally filed the request has 10 days to file a lawsuit or the other party can put the originally supposedly violating material back online without liability risk?
John: That’s correct.
Andrew: Is that in perpetuity, or do, if you go back and again, file another DMCA, can you get them to bring it down and then you start another 10, you know, 10-day window?
John: It depends on the policy of the provider. The general rule is that it would be just for that one piece of content. So, the next DMCA notice would not be acted upon. Providers are so busy that they don’t even look, so if you were to file another DMCA take-down, I would suspect that a larger provider would act on it again. But generally, I would not advise them to do that.
Stay Tuned For Part 3!
Andrew: Interesting. Hey, guys. Andrew jumping in here, and that’s where we’re gonna end the episode today, kind of wrapping things up on the trademark side of things. Next week, we’re going to wrap up this series, it’s part three of three, to talk really a lot about a lot of random legal issues that I feel like, “Hey, I’ve got a great, knowledgeable lawyer who’s not charging us anything. I wanna know about a bunch of other legal stuff.”
So, we talk about internet map pricing. We talk about what the biggest thing that people don’t realize they have exposure to as an online seller, but that they should try to fix. Hint, your policies page on your website. We talk about cybersquatting, how you can potentially get a domain name back if somebody is squatting on it for your brand.
We talk about how to fire people, or more specifically, what your legal liability is, and what you should be doing to cover yourself if you do have to, unfortunately, fire someone. We talk about a bunch of stuff like that, so…
Finally, we also talk about, if you can legitimately bid on your competitors’ brand names in, you know, Ad Words, Facebook, and Amazon PPC. Is that legit, or you can get yourself in trouble from a legal standpoint? So, all sorts of stuff like that. Tune in next week when we’ll be covering the rest of those things.
If you were looking for legal services personally, check out John’s company, revisionlegal.com. You can tell he’s a smart guy. They specialize in IP and the law for online sellers, for online businesses, so this is gonna be the guy you’re gonna wanna talk to if, you know, you’re in need of a good lawyer for the online or IP space.
That’s gonna do it for this week’s episode, but if you enjoyed what you heard and are interested in getting plugged into a dynamic community of experienced store owners, check us out at ecommercefuel.com. eCommerceFuel is the private vetted community for e-commerce entrepreneurs, and what makes us different is that we really heavily vet everyone that is a member to make sure that they’re a great fit, that they can add value to a broader community.
Everyone that joins has to be doing at least a quarter of a million dollars in sales via their store, and our average member does over seven figures in sales annually.
So, if you’d like to learn more, if that sounds interesting, you can learn more, and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com.
And I also have to thank our two sponsors that make this show possible. Liquid Web. If you are on WooCommerce, or you’re thinking about getting onto WooCommerce, Liquid Web is who you should have host your store. Particularly with their managed WooCommerce hosting, it’s highly elastic and scalable, it’s got built-in tools to performance test your store so you can be confident it’s gonna work well, and it’s built from the ground up for WooCommerce. You can learn more about their offering at ecommercefuel.com/liquidweb.
And, finally, Klaviyo. For e-mail marketing, they make email segmentation easy and powerful. They integrate with just about every cart out there, and help you build incredibly automated, powerful segments that make you money on autopilot. You can check them out and get started for free at klaviyo.com.
Thanks so much, for listening, and looking forward to seeing you again next Friday.
Want to connect with, and learn from other proven eCommerce entrepreneurs? Join us in the eCommerceFuel private community. It’s our tight-knit, vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter of a million dollars in annual sales. You can learn more, and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com.
Thanks so much for listening, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next time.
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Flickr: William Wu
Read more: ecommercefuel.com