In this business coach transcript, Clay Clark (speaker of choice for Hewlett-Packard, Maytag University, and more) and Wes Carter (Attorney for Winters & King Law, Inc.) discuss the importance of how to take legal action on Thrive15.com, the most elite sales training program.
Clay Clark: We’re back. Wes Carter, we are talking today about the legal action you can take to protect your brand as a business coach. Before we talk about that, I want to shake your hand.
Wes Carter: How are you doing, sir?
Clay Clark: I’m doing awesome.
Wes Carter: You look awesome.
Clay Clark: Feeling like I have just got back from Fantasmagoria. Now let me ask you this. Before we get into this I just want to ask because the Thrivers are always like, “Hey, legally, you have to tell us.” I’m going to help the Thrivers out here. Are you related to Nick Carter, the former teen pop sensation and member of the Backstreet Boys?
Wes Carter: Not that I know of, but it’s possible.
Clay Clark: Let’s get into this idea of protecting my brand as a business coach Wes, what are some terrible things that can happen to my logo and my overall brand if I don’t take a few basic steps to protect myself? Go ahead, just give me an end times scenario that one you’ve either personally witnessed or you’ve heard about. What could happen if I do not take the time and energy needed to protect my brand?
Wes Carter: Worst case scenario is either someone else has had that brand before you did. It’s a giant that comes and smooshes you like a little bug.
Clay Clark: You know an example of that or have you seen that?
Wes Carter: Yeah, lots of times. I have lots of clients much like your business coach that have … A truly unique idea is a hard thing to come by these days. We’ve been around for however long …
Clay Clark: A lot of humans.
Wes Carter: Someone else had that idea before you. They trademarked it. You don’t do the research to find that out. Their budget is probably bigger than your budget if you’re an business coach entrepreneur. Their attorneys will come, shut you down and you’ll have to re-brand the whole thing.
Clay Clark: Tell me another bad story. What’s something just totally awful that could happen if I have a little bad luck and I have not spent the time and money needed to protect my brand legally?
Wes Carter: You’re hot. You get on a roll. Your brand’s on TV. You’re blowing up Facebook. Your life is good. Then all of a sudden someone else comes in and knocks you off. They have a copycat site or a copycat product that’s very similar. Then you don’t have the proper registrations to quickly deal with it. You have to rely on some what they call common law rights, which means its a fall-back position. It’s going to take much longer to deal with the situation.
Clay Clark: All right, Mr. Negative, what are some of the basic legal steps that I should take right now to protect my brand from evil?
Wes Carter: One, do a little research upfront. Make sure you’re good to go on the name you chose, or the branding and the caricature, whatever it is.
Clay Clark: You said do some research. Should I hire an attorney for this or should I be just googling?
Wes Carter: I would definitely talk to an attorney. I think you start with googling, doing some or your own research because you might find something and obviously it’s already taken. Then when you pick a name and it looks to you like it’s good to go, then you hire the attorney to check it out and make sure. They have more access to other things and can make sure for you.
Clay Clark: An example. If you’re online right now, and you’re going “I’m going to have a big box retail sore. I’m going to have a blue logo. I’m going to say always low prices. I’m going to call it Walmart.” Wal-mart. That’s probably not something you want to spend time on hiring an attorney to do.
Wes Carter: Correct.
Clay Clark: You just want to deal with that ahead of time.
Wes Carter: Right.
Clay Clark: After you’ve kind of got it down to now you’re in that murky realm where like “It looks good,” now you want to call an attorney.
Wes Carter: Exactly. The attorney can give you a green light if it’s truly good or not.
Clay Clark: How much money is it going to cost me in 2014 dollars, today’s money, to protect my brand fully? Copyright, trademark, the whole deal.
Wes Carter: You’re probably talking several thousand dollars.
Clay Clark: Four thousand?
Wes Carter: Several thousand. Probably a low line couple thousand, high five depending on how many kinds of products you have out on the marketplace. When you’re talking trademarks, you have to file in different classes. If I have a clothing class for my tee shirts and my apparel, and I also have an audio-video class because I’m making DVDs of how awesome my clothes are. The more stuff you have to protect, obviously the cost goes up with it.
Clay Clark: Two action steps every Thriver can do is, one, just do some basic research using the Google the Yahoo, the Bing or whatever you want to use to make sure that you find out if your brand is just in blatant, absolute copyright violation, if you’re copying someone’s idea completely. If you’re going to start a company called Chipotle, just google that mess or look at sales training on Thrive15.com. You’ll find there’s already a Chipotle established. Save yourself the time and money. After that, you need to call an attorney, spend maybe 4 to 7 thousand dollars, something like that, on a …
Wes Carter: The search itself won’t be nearly that expensive, maybe $500.
Clay Clark: Five hundred dollars to do a search.
Wes Carter: We’re talking 3 to 5 for a small group of products to get it fully protected, file the trademarks, file the copyrights. Just to do the search to make sure you’re good to go with that name, under a thousand dollars.
Clay Clark: Wes, I appreciate you for coming here and bringing some clarity to this idea that it could be very complex of what I can do to protect my brand. As always, I just forward to just suing you.