Small Business Owners: Don’t Let Your Brilliant Ideas Go to Waste! Learn How to Protect Your Brand!

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Small Business Owners: Don’t Let Your Brilliant Ideas Go to Waste! Learn How to Protect Your Brand!

“When you have ideas, if you’re a little guy…and you get into the marketplace and your idea works, you will be ripped off the moment your idea starts to work and you’ll be out of business.” –Thomas Colson makes a bold statement on the Sidewalk Talk podcast!

If you’re a small business owner or marketing director, you understand the excitement of bringing a new idea to the marketplace. But beware! Without proper protection, your success can be short-lived. Here’s a short summary of the vital steps to avoid this that we discussed with Steve Fortunato, and James Catania on the podcast. The full episode is linked below:

1️⃣ Research: Before diving into your brand development, conduct a thorough Google search. Ensure that your chosen name or slogan isn’t already in use by another company in your industry.

2️⃣ Seek Professional Help: Retaining an intellectual property lawyer can save you from potential legal troubles. They can conduct a trademark clearance search and provide expert analysis to determine if your brand is unique and can be legally protected.

Remember, prevention is key! Investing around $2,500 in trademark research is a small price to pay compared to the cost of rebranding, losing time, and the emotional toll it takes on you and your team.

If you’re considering a brand refresh or creating a new brand, consult with a lawyer early on. They can guide you through the process, ensuring your brand is distinctive and legally secure.

Protect your hard work, passion, and business by safeguarding your intellectual property. Don’t let your brilliant ideas go to waste!



when you have ideas if you’re a little guy and you get into the marketplace and


your idea works you will be ripped off the moment your idea starts to work and you’ll be out of business


we learned a tough lesson it was quite a few years ago now where a potential


client wanted to hire us to well create a brand he had a he had a


new business idea so uh and we we asked him hey you sure because he had a pretty good name are you sure that um no one


else in the world has this name oh no I’ve done all the research talked to


everybody we’re all set and we move forward Maria did some great artwork we


created a slogan we we created the brand form and then then we had after we did


that work we’re like we should really check on this and we checked on it it took one Google search to say hey


somebody else somebody else has this name all right so uh but it was a tough lesson to learn


because we put a lot of hours a lot of hours into that and created great work um and obviously I couldn’t use it and


and then we moved on anyway but as we as small business owners we want to know we


want you to know we want to help you understand the things you need to know when it comes to intellectual property


copyright trademarking things like that so we are not lawyers and we’re not experts in that field but if you are a


marketing director or a small business owner you need to know some of these things or you need to retain somebody that can help you out so we brought in


our go-to lawyer here he is Tom Colson CEO of Executive IP and co-host of the


podcast stuff you should know about IP Tom thanks for joining us hey my my


pleasure by the way that story is a great story but it’s not a unique story you know


everybody goes through this I had this young girl in my life so I have three daughters that are now 22 22 and 24 and


they I’ve had one of those houses that like everybody’s at all the time so I’ve gotten to know all their friends and one


of their girlfriends was had her own clothing brand in high school she was


like a artsy kind of person and she called it Insanity that was like her thing right insanity and she must have


worked on it for a year and a half and she came to me one day and she said hey you know Mr Coulson how can we blow this


up you know how can we make this thing something great so I said well first have you searched your name you know


Insanity for clothing and she said oh nobody has it so I just did a quick Google search within what 0.78 seconds I


got a company that was using streetwear insanity and I told her she starts


bawling now she’s only 18. so of course she doesn’t have the the strength and resilience that you three have but she


starts crying right in front of me I felt terrible because she just never thought about it before of course she


didn’t she’s 18 years old right but one Google search for .47 seconds and I


yielded a brand that was already using it in the exact same field and it would have


blocked her if she ever became anything right and for her it was a cheap lesson because she’s only 18. it took her


months to get over this because it was you get you don’t just get financially


connected to a brand I mean yeah you pay Steve and Jamie and Maria to do all this work but that’s only part of it it’s the


emotional connection to the brand that you get you know you it’s your baby I’ve started two companies in my life and I


one of them I sold off years ago I still think of it as my company whenever I hear the name in The Marketplace I get a


feeling like I have a loss because it’s not my business anymore so I’m sure brand owners feel that way as well and


you know you asked Steve what could they do well there’s two two layers to that


one thing they could do is do a Google Search right it’s free it takes no time


at all and just figure out who’s out there that’s already using your brand now the way trademarks work is you can


have two trademarks that are exactly the same on very different products because


trademarks all come down to something called likelihood of confusion in the marketplace so if I’m buying a product


that I think I’m buying from one company but I’m actually buying from another company that’s bad right because I think


I’m buying the quality of Toyota you know you buy a Toyota and you know low maintenance it’s going to run for 300


000 miles I mean you’re getting a great car if you buy a Toyota but what if some other car company comes out and it’s


Toyota and you’re like I’ll buy that Toyota and it’s a terrible car well that’s why we have trademarking


infringement laws among other reasons because the marketplace needs to know who we’re buying from but if somebody


has Toyota for cars well Toyota is different because it’s like what you call a Famous Brand right and those are


so famous and so popular that doesn’t really matter what your other product is you’re not going to be able to do it but


if you add like uh um another one that’s not such like Bocce’s by the way one of my favorite


pizza places in the world Bacci’s Pizza greatest pizza ever but if somebody came


up with uh bachis for baseballs it wouldn’t be trademark infringement because nobody’s going to think that


Bocce’s Pizza started making baseballs right so if this young girl had Insanity


for street wear and we found out that there was like an insanity filmmaking Studio or something it wouldn’t have


been a big deal but the product that was that was using the Mark was for streetwear it was exactly the same so


that’s what you do first is do a Google search just figure out what’s out there second you know talk to an IP lawyer


because what they’ll do is an actual trademark clearance search right and a


trademark clearance search means you have a professional that does this stuff all the time they’ll do a search they’ll


get the results back then so I have a law firm as well Coulson Law Group and we have trademark and patent lawyers and


that and I’ll have my trademark expert analyze the results to figure out


whether or not you’re you know going to be infringement if you go to market so think about this it will cost you about twenty


five hundred dollars to do a search and an opinion twenty five hundred dollars how much does it cost to hire your firm


to do all the marketing work to build this brand before you go to market


how much do we pay you you know and if it’s a brand that’s already taken number one we’ve lost the your firm services


for fee right number two we’ve lost time to Market and number three we’re


devastated we’re emotionally crippled over this because we love our brand right and we got all excited we hired a


marketing firm you know we made swag we’re so into this we told all of our


kids all of our friends and now we can’t use it so it’s like an ounce of


prevention is worth a pound of cure sorry I I dominated that too much Steve


does that happen then okay so I’m a marketing director of the small business


hey we need to we need to refresh our brand and do


we are not here sorry about that guys go ahead we have our I we have our concept


then we check with the lawyer before we go oh yeah okay so right so so yeah


Steve so you’re asking when do we go to the lawyer right like when do we do this


because you come up with like so here’s what I would do and and by the way I did this with my company executive IP which


is my training company first thing I wanted to do is make sure I could get the domain name you know


which isn’t that big of a deal these days because back in the early days of


the internet your domain name was everything right but now you’re marketing with social media and people


don’t even really use they don’t even go to your website without like Googling you first right so it’s not a huge deal


but the first thing if you can get the domain name great second come up with like five names that you really like


narrow it down to the number one to you know put it in order and then go to your law your lawyer and basically or then


Google them start googling because that’s free right that just takes time so Google it to death make sure that you


know exactly what you’ve got make your list so let’s say I want insanity for streetwear I’m gonna google it and I’m


gonna find out wow there’s an insanity for uh golf balls there’s an insanity for fingernail clippers there’s an


insanity for a movie production company nothing for streetwear so now I got Insanity right and I give of my list of


other ones then I check my other ones that I the other marks that I like and I do the same thing and then I bring those


to council because they’re trained to analyze this and figure it out and you know you might even be able to have a


conversation and just they might even be able to give you some informal guidance like I do this with people all the time


mostly friends and family they’ll just call me and I’ll give them free advice because as long as they’ve done all the


Googling and I have all the terms in front of me and they’ve told me what they’ve received what I’ll say is okay I


didn’t do a search I don’t know what’s out there but based upon what you’re telling me you’re probably okay


and then they could go forward if they want especially if they’re a really small business that doesn’t have any


money yet because it’s going to be twenty five hundred three thousand dollars before you get your search and


your opinion completed for each name right so if you have two or three names you want to make sure you do as much


self-help as you can before you go to the lawyer then when you do narrow it down to the one that you like the most


go to the lawyer and um you know find out whether number


one you can get a trademark number two whether you’re infringing someone else’s


trademark right because they’re two different questions but before you even go to the lawyer you


could if you if you’re in the marketplace you can start putting TM like right in the upper corner after


your mark so that at least you’re starting to get time with your own trademark in the event that you can get


it because remember trademark usage flow I’m sorry trademark


rights flow from usage not necessarily registration


so in fact you can’t even get a registration unless you’ve been using it in the marketplace so first thing to do


after you find your name and you’ve Googled it you think okay this is a pretty good one is if you’re going to


use it before you go to council mark it with TM you can’t Market with circle R


because you’re not registered but Mark it with TM that at least you’re starting to build equity like you’re first so if


somebody comes later and you’ve already been putting TM you’ve got kind of like first in line status right then you go


to your lawyer and by the way this is if you’re putting it on products you might not even be in the marketplace yet


but or not even just products but also your advertising material and that sort of thing then go to the lawyer let them do your


search let them do your analysis spend your 2500 bucks or so and figure out


what you’ve got if you’re taking this seriously if you’re just goofing around you and


your friends wanted to like try something it’s a different scenario but if this is your business and you plan on


building it and making this your income at some point it’s worth spending the money up front


before you even go to your firm and start spending money with brand development to make sure you have a


brand that you can actually develop without getting sued for trademark infringement okay what if what if what


if I own company XYZ the name is established I’ve


been in business for 15 years I need a refresh a marketing director or yeah we


bring in a team we bring in a shovel the sidewalk or we do it ourselves and we we refresh our brand same name


different uh look that’s more encompassing and a slogan a slogan that


becomes our rallying cry do I slogan Mark that what does that mean how do I protect that how do I find


out if I can keep that you know you know I couldn’t just have shovel the sidewalk just do it you know at that you know


right so how do I know right what I can have and then how do I protect that


yeah I mean so that’s another thing is when you do your refresh you have to go back to council right because you’re


going to have new colors new logos like a tagline you know you’re gonna have your tagline and all of those things put


you in a position where you could get sued for trademark infringement it’s kind of like the only way to avoid


getting sued for trademark infringement or patent infringement or copyright infringement is don’t do business right


because if you’re not in the marketplace no one can mess with you but we got to do business right I mean we got to make


a living we want to build our passions build our dreams everyone who wants to have their own company right so when you


guys do the refresh every time you should at least have a


count a conversation with Council you might not do the trademark search you might not spend the twelve hundred


dollars on the trademark search but counsel can guide you on that right


you might not do the formal opinion because there’s a certain level of risk that we’re all willing to take nothing


is a certainty let’s say you do your trademark search you get your legal opinion the legal opinion is based upon


the results of the trademark search okay and there’s a difference the trademark search they’re only paying them a


thousand bucks they’re not going to scour the planet right they’re not going to go into stores and look look at


unregistered marks and everything that could get you they’re going to do a quick and dirty search to see if there’s


anything obvious out there that’s going to cause you a problem then the lawyer is going to do an opinion based upon


that quick and dirty search so you’re taking a risk even going to Market with just doing quick and dirty


shirt but it doesn’t make sense to spend 30 grand on a scouring the planet


trademark search right just doesn’t make sense so you do your Googling some


people are like screw it I’m gonna stop there because there’s a level of risk that I’m willing to tolerate right some


people say hey I’ve been doing this 15 years I never even thought to do a search but I want to get a formal


trademark registration okay now I have to go to a lawyer but again for 15 years you’ve been managing a certain degree of


risk there is a company in Clarence New York do any of you live in Clarence I do


you do okay so uh it’s now it’s Bocce’s on on Goodrich but it used to be


um the Pizza Inn okay remember that place sure the Pizza Inn got sued for


trademark infringement by a Pizza Inn in Florida that had a federal trademark


registration and they were forced to change their name to the Clarence Pizza Company I don’t know if you remember


that so what they said to themselves is we’re gonna by the way they probably didn’t say this to themselves but


assuming that they knew something about trademarks they probably they could have said to themselves I’m not going to


spend the three grand it’s worth the risk I’m willing to absorb a certain amount of risk it’s a pizza company I’m


in Buffalo New York I’ve looked all around I ate pizza everyone I haven’t seen one so I’m gonna I’m gonna just


tolerate this amount of risk some people are like I’m not tolerating any risk I’m insured to the hilt you know I have life


insurance disability insurance I’ve got Eno Insurance I’ve got all this stuff because I don’t want any risk So It


ultimately comes down to how much risk are you willing to absorb before going


to Market and hiring your company to do this brand development and you know what 30 of the time you might be fine you


don’t do any work with a lawyer you go right to you you start building your brand you put TM at the top go to the marketplace probably be fine thirty


percent of the time but if you’re not fine if you get stunned it’s uncomfortable it’s expensive it’s


stressful it’s all that stuff one of the reasons I hate swimming in the ocean and believe me I hate swimming in the ocean


it’s because there’s sharks right the likelihood of me getting attacked by a


shark is so low but the consequences of being attacked are so high that I don’t want to be in there right so I’ll hang


out on the beach I’ll look at all the water skiers but I’m not going in because of my risk tolerance and it’s


the same thing with business and trademarks or copyrights or patents or whatever so when we refresh a client’s brand we


always tell them you know we’re not lawyers this is where the after interviewing you your


customers your employees this is who we think you are because a lot a lot of


companies have trouble identifying themselves because it’s harder when you’re on the inside it’s a lot easier


for an outsider to come in do the analyzing and say guys because all businesses have the answers they just


need someone to help them get there wait wait you mean you mean it’s hard for a company to understand what they are to the


marketplace uh not not as much as that is more um


no what they mean to the marketplace not what they are to the marketplace who


they are who are they identified as what is the perception of the marketplaces whose they are and how can they


emotionally connect with the marketplace most businesses don’t know their own identity they know the product they have


right they completely understand that you know what they don’t what a lot of times they don’t understand is how


important the why is people want to connect with people so what is their why so if we can if we but that’s part of


our rebranding process and it’s that so we we brand a company we always tell


them hey let’s make sure that this is good to go so go to your


lawyers that’s good advice isn’t it before we hit marketplace with it let’s let’s make sure yeah right right but but


then what hasn’t happened yet in 11 years is no one’s come back and said hey lawyers


said we’re out of luck so fortunately we’ve been we’ve been good because oh wait wait yeah


no lawyer has has said your trademarks already being used right it hasn’t


happened to us yet but it’s funny because I had the young girl come to me and you had the person in the story from


last week where that exact thing happened right so I so you know it is it’s again risk what risk am I willing


to absorb right I get I I get that but it would still would be a because when we bring


them the idea and the concept uh that means they bought into it they’re like I love it because we want them if you


don’t love it we don’t want you to have it you know so once they love it it would suck to go to the lawyer and


lawyer says yeah this is great but I got bad but it’s better it’s better to learn


it then than before you you know send it you give it get the employees involved


and go external outside the company and start spending all this extra money on advertising or whatever else you’re doing yeah and you’re the lawyer and


it’s good news bad news right good news your brand is pretty good because other people are using it yeah right right bad


news is other people are using it right but fortunately I mean because ever it should never happen when you think about


it because the what makes you unique from any other law firm besides what you


do it’s you so if we’re telling your story no other


law firm has your story because they’re not you so that’s the beauty of small businesses versus Big Business big


businesses answer to what that’s a great small businesses answer to Main Street and so people people your story no one


has it nobody in the world has a story that’s a great Point that’s a great that’s a great niche market for you guys


yeah you know telling the story you’re right because it does you know it’s and by the way with the emergence of um AI


which by the way to me is way more terrifying than sharks um the thing that AI can do the things


that I can do are almost everything like Flash Forward 15 years and there might


not be a role for Humanity because there’s nothing that we can do that’s better than AI but what we have that AI


doesn’t have is what you just said the personal story you know in fact I would


say that that becomes 10 times more important because it’s the personal


stories it’s our life’s journey right nobody can no AI can mimic my life’s


journey even if they say the words it doesn’t ring true because it’s not their


life’s journey and that’s what you guys are doing with marketing is helping a company become


personalized which again we can’t although who knows what AI can do in the


future but it doesn’t seem like they’d be able to do that right not yet right


they’re terrifying AI is terrifying because it can do I mean in the future if you have a choice of having surgery


done by a robot or a human you probably take the robot every day right no human


error in a robot I’d rather risk the minor software issues than the trembling


hands or the you know drinking the night before who knows what else right well even automobiles we won’t be driving


because AI can manage our driving better right yeah it’s only going to get better


if we can yeah I mean it’s not going to go away so we’ve had this discussion internally we need to we need to utilize


what is used for for us it can be an idea Creator if but it cannot develop a


a brand it may be a can someday it it can’t know


that person the way that small business owner the way we know that person and it


can’t know how they think because only they know how they think you know it’s when it comes to like in digital


marketing everyone talks about how great digital marketing is which it is but it’s great because of attribution and


it’s a big it’s a pet peeve of ours because there’s no such thing as absolute attribution maybe someday AI


will be able to figure out how you think but just because we ran a Facebook ad for a client


doesn’t mean because of that Facebook ad they got that piece of business even though the Facebook data shows that that


person consumed that particular ad because we don’t know who they what they talked about with their neighbor we


don’t know what happened when they went to the grocery store we don’t know who influenced them and their decision making at all there is no absolute


attribution some yeah maybe Tom someday maybe AI will be able to figure that out


but right now right now Steve Maria and Jamie still have jobs exactly right


exactly right yeah that’s good so plus your score one for the humans and minus


for the a yeah excellent let’s go you said something important though dot it


it is about it is about humans people like to work with or purchase


items or services from people they want human beings uh and and if it is a


robotic surgery by the way right now I want a human running that robot there you go but you know even on the phone


like when you make a phone call to like Verizon or something and you’re stuck with the the the robot attendant and


you’re just craving a human you know and I think being able to speak with a human regardless of where they


are in the world is so much better for humans and I think that is another opportunity that we have in business


over AI which is the human element I mean I don’t think AI can replace relationships you know I don’t think but


I mean not real relationship yeah right right yeah right right right but I mean there’s something unless you trick


people into thinking that AI is human they’d rep they’d rather communicate with a human who wouldn’t I’d rather be


in a relationship even if it’s online and communicating I’d rather be with a human so so I love the mentality that


your firm has that’s you guys are all about telling the human story for businesses it’s all it’s all because


and that other questions or other although it doesn’t happen as much anymore people used to say well uh do


you work b2c or or B to B like well we work human to human it doesn’t matter B2B marketing is the same as if it’s B


to C because people in business and B to B are human beings just like b2c customers are human beings it’s all B is


just a bunch of humans in there right but you know you’re going to talk you might use different language in a b to B


then a B to C but then they have different needs but different of course it’s all different right right but the human development of your brand exactly


is something that will speak to both because they’re all people exactly how are you going to connect so I have a


okay so so small business owner um uh goes through and they’re like all


right so we we have a new slogan we have we hired Maria and they we have a new we


have a new logo we have a refresh brand we’re keeping the same name we we contacted Tom and his team and


everything looks good for trademarking okay how do I protect now I I think this


idea is really good now obviously probably no one else has it because it


is about me but I still want to protect it so what do I do now how do I what do you mean by an idea do you mean a great


question brand idea an Innovative idea a great question idea okay so let’s go to


to I see two things I have an idea for the brand itself okay we have here is


our here’s our name here is our uh logo here’s our slogan here’s our call here’s our hope here is our um uh our whole


brand identity and then the other thing is we’ve got this system I don’t know we’ve got this system that we use uh for


a product that we create or a service that we create and we’ve named it XYZ I


I’m a small business big company comes in they have 100 lawyers working for them I Outsource my legal how do I


protect myself because I think these are this is a great brand identity and these are great ideas yeah so so a few things


one is when talking about brand right first thing after you’ve searched


it you have a good brand excuse me start using it in the marketplace that’s like number one mark


all your your references to that brand to your to your trademark with a TM


file trademark for trademark you know federally registered trademark and get


get a trademark right that’s that’s really obvious everybody everybody should do that but the most


the least obvious thing is the thing you should do the most which is do the search to make sure that you’re not infringing someone else and that


eventually you don’t put a whole bunch of money into a trademark that you’re going to lose so but then the ideas though that’s


different and the problems small companies have is they’re outgunned at every turn


you know they don’t have in-house IP Council they don’t have anybody giving


them this advice on a day-to-day basis they probably don’t even know they need it right they don’t even know they


should be thinking about it so when you have ideas if you’re a little


guy and you get into the marketplace and your idea works you will be ripped off the moment your idea starts to work and


you’ll be out of business you know um somebody just came to me


yesterday yesterday morning and they had this idea which I won’t disclose but


it’s basically around the cell phone right and they came up with this cool thing that you could do with yourself


with uh you know Community Telecommunications and they called me because they know


that if this thing works you have Verizon and at T they will take it offer


it for free and you will be out of business in a heartbeat so the only


thing you have going for you other than building your brand recognition which is really difficult for a small business to


get you’re not going to get Coca-Cola style brand recognition right in a way your trademark is almost worthless until


people know about it right so until you have a lot of brand recognition your trademark doesn’t mean anything


you need patent protection because that is the one tool that you


it’s the one weapon that you could hold over people who are trying to steal your


ideas because you can’t copyright an idea right copyrights are just the written or or audio or you know visual


embodiment of an idea it’s not the idea itself patents are the things that small


businesses need the most if they’re in an Innovative field


they need it more than a trademark again because trademarks only matter when your


trademark has recognition until it has recognition it could be anything I mean look at the trademark Apple maybe the


stupidest trademark ever made but it’s the most brilliant trademark ever made now because it’s got recognition right


apples for computers is just stupid beetles it’s just a stupid name for a


band right but it’s a brilliant name now so the trademark value is all about


recognition which is what you guys do but the patent value that’s valuable


independent of recognition no one even knows who you are they don’t even know about your patent but your patent can


still stop them dead in their tracks so patent protection is what small


companies need to figure out a way to get if they’re in an innovate if they’re in an Innovative field if you’re a


barber shop or a hair stylist or something you don’t need patent protection you need


recognition in your community right you need to start doing a social media campaign and and you know put Billboards


up or whatever but it’s all local because you’re a barber shop but if you are developing Innovation you


got a widget that’s pretty cool you’ve got to be able to protect that


thing now one thing you could do is I mean as soon as you get to the marketplace if it can be reverse engineered you’re totally screwed right


in the me in the interim when you’re trying to do Partnerships and stuff with people you can have them sign ndas you


know and keep them from disclosing it but thing about ndas is they don’t prevent people from unlawfully


disclosing your stuff they just deter people from unlawfully disclosing your


confidential information so It ultimately comes down to patent so if you have an Innovative idea


you know and and don’t even really think about filing a provisional patent application without using a lawyer


because those things are just dangerous you know you think you have something you don’t you go to converted a year


later and you didn’t draft it right so you’ve lost a year and now you’re already in the marketplace which means all your patent rights are burned so


what I would do is call and I’m not just saying me call


someone like me because number one here’s the advantage I have I’m an


entrepreneur right I’ve started three companies I’m running my training company right now we’re in our 10th year


and we’re probably valued at over 10 million dollars now so I know what it


takes to go from my garage out into the marketplace and have employees and the


struggles of trying to keep your billion dollar competitors from just destroying you with one step right


two I’m a patent lawyer so I know all about intellectual property fundamentals


and the types of things people should be thinking about and three I’m an innovator I have like five patents to my


name I’ve written children’s books I’ve got adult books so I’m a Creator so I


can see it from all different angles and believe me I’m not unique there’s a whole bunch of people out there just


like me that people can call but you want to talk to someone who’s got all


these views of Entrepreneurship you know the business side the Innovative side


and the legal side all in one brain so that you could just pick their brain I


mean I get on calls with friends and family for 30 minutes and just because I do this stuff and


I’ve been doing it now I’m until like my 30th year you know I know stuff that’s just normal for me that they’ve never


even thought about because why should they think about it right they don’t have a law degree they don’t have a pat they haven’t taken the patent bar they


might not have even ever started a company before right so these are the things I mean if I’m if I’m a small


business I’m thinking about my trademark of course probably common law trademark at first because I don’t probably have


the money to spend on a federal registration so just put TM but then I’m thinking about patent protection do I


have anything that’s patentable and that’s going to cost you I mean believe me you’re not going to get out for under


eight to ten thousand dollars before you’ve got to prepare and file patent application then you got to prosecute


the thing over two to three years that’s another four to five thousand dollars it’s expensive it’s not a game for


people who are timid about their money right but you might have no choice if


you want to get somewhere that’s just not yeah services business I mean if you want to do Consulting Services you don’t


need patents just go out and do your thing you want to have a hair stylist or a landscaping business or a restaurant I


mean these are things you can do without patents but if you want to be in the product game


be careful because IP becomes very dominant in your life very quickly if


you’re going to get into any kind of product game anyway does that answer that question that was that was great that was you


answered the question and then some it was awesome so I think what my takeaway is if you’re oh unless you mentioned


restaurant unless a restaurant creates a new oven that does something specifically then they would want to


pack that right yeah there’s a lot of restaurant Innovation going on but you


don’t need it to have a successful restaurant right right you can just buy Products off the shelf all to use them


in your restaurant if you come up I have a friend that that has a wife who has uh like a Colombian or Mexican restaurant


and he came up with this device that makes I don’t know chalupas or something super fast like the corner it’s the corn


the corn shell thing right a tortilla like five hours and his thing only takes


an hour and I got together with him in DC recently and I said dude you should file a patent application on this and


start licensing it out to all these other restaurants because if it really does what you say and it saves four


hours out of five everyone’s gonna want this thing but you don’t have to be an innovator to be a restaurant you could


be an innovator in the theme of your restaurant you know in your brand development in your in your mark in your


uh customer service you know in your attracting customers to come into your store but you don’t have to be a patent


innovator you know makes sense that makes complete sense what about what


about we mentioned AI before you’re a content creator


yeah okay uh who all same say someone


creates some they get help from AI maybe it’s not


maybe it’s maybe they didn’t take it word for word but it helped them and


they created some kind of content who’s who owns that content oh yeah by the way they’re getting more than just hell yeah


right people are using chat GPT to create their content yeah and by the way


chat GTP is scary because it creates content really well you know I’ve tried


it out just to see how it works and I’ve watched it sentence by sentence forming a well-reasoned


five paragraphs right in front of my eyes and it’s scary so the question is who owns it right


good question it’s unclear as to who owns it because it’s copyright right at the moment at


the moment copyright I wrote down the deaf or what you own your way to say let me see if I could find it on my sheets


of paper I should know this since I create training on copyrights but uh oh yeah it’s got to be an original


work of authorship by a human okay so in order for copyright in order


to have copyright protection you need an original work of authorship that you


created and you’re human so if I type in a sentence on chat GTP


you know paint me a picture of um you know a cow jumping over the moon right


it’s an original work of authorship but it’s not created by a human


all I did was give it an unprotect-able concept a cow jumping over a moon but then it did all the


brush Strokes or whatever it does to create the cow jumping over the moon and


that’s unclear right now who owns the copyright on that throughout the world Google it and you’ll find people are


talking about this all the time because some people are saying oh should the the person who created the AI own it well no


because they didn’t create an original work of authorship they didn’t even have the concept right


so they shouldn’t own it should the AI own it no because it’s not human and


even there’s this there’s this judge in Australia I did a podcast on this about a year ago judge in Australia agreed


that an AI could have uh inventor-ship in a patent like a year ago and I think


that’s been reversed and then somebody in South Africa did the same thing but nobody with any like rational thinking


is saying that AI can be a copyright owner or a patent owner today


and so right now it’s unclear as to who owns this but


the challenging thing for AI though is there could be copyright infringement going on because I don’t know how Ai and


chat GT work and I think that’s owned by Elon Musk and one other guy um it was




can one other guy own it it is so the thing is I don’t know how it works but


if it’s going out like it uses all the stuff that’s available on the web if it’s copying stuff


and then utilizing the stuff it’s copied to create stuff well number one it’s


copying and that might be considered copyright infringement number two it’s creating derivative


Works arguably which means a derivative work is taking one copyrighted work and


using it as the foundation to make another one an example is if you see a picture and you make a sculpture from it


a sculpture or you see a sculpture and you draw a picture from it or you translate a book from German to English


or or you fictionalized a book right like a non-fiction book you


fictionalize it so you’re creating a work from another work well if you go to


chat GPT and say paint me a landscape in the spirit of Picasso right so then they go out and


they take all the Picasso Works they kind of get the flavor and then they create a new work that’s kind of a derivative work right or if I say give


me a story about a lawyer Who’s down on his luck and becomes a big success in


the flavor of Grisham right so they do that well one thing is is it a


derivative work that could be copyright infringement that’s an issue that’s still out there in the world being considered you know the other thing is


are they copying all the original Grisham Works to make the new work I don’t know how the mechanisms are of


that but that could be an issue another thing is what if they hold it out as a Grisham book right this is a John


Grisham novel well that’s clearly a problem right so or marketing like you mentioned earlier marketing material


people are creating their marketing material utilizing the the AI systems that are out there and chat gbt is the


most common but I’m sure there’s going to be maybe there’s already a bunch of others right same kind of thing where are they


getting the material to create this derivative work but then you’re going to use the work do you have a problem and


it’s unclear today as to whether you have a problem because it’s unclear as to who owns it but if you ask me this


could be the kind of thing that nobody owns right it could be the kind of thing that’s public domain why because you’re


not the author you’re not the original author of it all you did was say take a look at my website and create a


bunch of stuff it’s not chat gbt because it’s not human right it’s not Elon Musk because he had


nothing to do with the creation other than creating the Hammers and chisels and all that stuff it’s like a sculptor takes the hammer and chisel and pounds


stuff out the maker you know doesn’t own that that sculpture right so it’s


unclear as to who owns it and maybe nobody owns it which is also a problem


because that means other people can copy you yeah that’s right nobody owns it


that means everybody can use it yeah so now I have stuff that people are using and I had a friend just yesterday or


this morning he sent me an AI Chat thing and he did something that I’ve done so I


create all these training videos right and I have a particular style to me and I think he said do this in the style of


me and I’m telling you it sounds a lot like me and it’s it’s scary because number one I feel like I’m losing my


uniqueness right what is our self-esteem based upon in life it’s what we do what


we accomplish what we could do that nobody else can do that gives us confidence and self-esteem but if ai’s


doing it holy what are we then right so anyway in terms of marketing material and all that and who owns it I


don’t know as I sit here and I don’t think anyone knows today who owns the


output of chat GPT I mean I would think for small business maybe they have a marketing director


maybe they are their own marketing director I think


besides I just don’t think it’s a good idea to copy and paste and say hey


um you know hey Bard hey chat GPT give me 10 social media posts copy and paste


those posts I just if they’re just going to be like everything else around the world it’s not going to be unique to you oh yeah it’s yeah it’s not going to be


unique it’s not going to have that personal flavor that you’re talking about and every one of my training videos and every one of my books


a personal flavor my book’s more than my training material because my books are all about things I’ve learned in life


but you’re right you’re not going to have that personal thing and I don’t know how obvious it is when something’s


written by a I don’t think it’s obvious enough maybe it should be more obvious but I think you’re right people will get


bored by AI content but they won’t get bored by content that you create that is


personalized to the company absolutely I mean I think your business could really take off because of AI interesting you


know because you have an approach that AI doesn’t have


interesting yeah it’s a human approach it’s it’s humanizing Brands one other thing about a the uh this AI the the uh


what you call it again the open open and it’s open AI what are the other challenges about open


AI is you ask it a question and it utilizes the web to give you the answer the web


is filled with misinformation you know right and I don’t know how smart it is I look at humans like I’ve tried to


educate my kids on how you evaluate something to figure out whether it’s true and I because I’m a lawyer I cross


and of my generation where we didn’t have you know Ai and social media and


all this misinformation we’re used to being Skeptics about everything so if I


see a video that just doesn’t look like it makes sense I’ll say it’s probably not right and I’ll search around more


but how does AI do that like how do they mimic what I do and other people do to


assess whether something’s valid or not there’s a lot of misinformation on the


web and if these but I mean Elon Musk is a brilliant guy right I’m sure he’s thinking about this if I’m thinking


about it he’s thinking about it years ago so but still that could be a challenge right it could be your your


answers could be filled with what is the most popular answers out there and those might not be correct right now now with


the Elon Musk has thought about that and he has regrets he was pushing for AR


remember AI Hold Us on a six month hold let’s figure this out before it gets out of hand and and into and and used for


the wrong reasons for bad reasons but the misleading stuff on the web I


believe is going to get even more so now because of what you talked about earlier where your friend created something that


sounded or looked and like you because of AI so now we can create photos and


videos that just aren’t real oh yeah and you think oh that that looks real yeah


people can people you can now be someone out you’re out you’re all over the


Internet someone can now record grab your voice call a loved one and and and set it up


so that it’s from you it’s yeah or or they could take a politician and have


them say something that they never said yeah you know and you know what else happened since I’m a divorce guy I’m


dating a lot people are putting up fake pictures right like they’re perfect the pictures


and you show up and you’re like whoa whoa you know so who knows what the dating world’s going to become


great Point yeah um maybe that’s a good note to end that yeah that is a good note uh hey man I


appreciate your full of knowledge it’s it’s awesome and energy and your passion for what you do is appreciated and uh it


comes out within seconds so my pleasure it’s fun but I know you’re a busy guy thanks man thanks for the Insight it was


great we learned a lot um and hopefully it helped everyone out there as well so Tom Colson CEO of


executive IP um but check out his podcast uh you and Ray do the podcast yeah that’s fun stuff


you should know about IP um every small business owner should know a little bit about IP okay


absolutely let’s let’s be safe all right man thanks Tom thanks


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