How can I protect my intellectual property - and stop people copying my content? 3 things you can start doing today (that won't cost you a fortune!)

Uncategorized Aug 04, 2020

We spend so much time and energy on creating great content for our businesses and often significant money too.  

We know there is intellectual property in that content which belongs to us and which we should be protecting – but that means spending hundreds if not thousands of pounds on specialist lawyers and complicated legal processes.  Or does it?  

Stick with me because I am going to share with you 3 things that you can start doing straight away to improve the protection you give your intellectual property by 100% AND that won’t cost you the earth.

1. Copyright Notice. When you create copy or images for your business, it is very likely that there is copyright in that copy or those images, which belongs to you.  You don’t need to register copyright formally in the UK – that is one of the great things about it – but you should let people know that you own the copyright so they can see you are on top of your game and they will be far less likely to pinch it and use it for their own purposes.  

You do this by using the copyright symbol - which is the little © in a circle – and a copyright notice whenever you put your materials out into the world.  The main examples are at the bottom of any materials you produce (both printed and digital copies) and also at the bottom of the pages of your website. 

A copyright notice consists in: the copyright symbol, the name of your legal entity and the year you created the materials.  

Example of a copyright notice for you to….copy!

© Modern Law Limited 2019.  All rights reserved.

2. Keep Control. Whenever you make your materials available to anyone, make sure they know what they can and cannot do with them.  You should do this in writing, ideally in a written agreement.  This makes you look professional, on top of your game and it’s less likely people will be tempted to copy your hard work.  Some of the main places you need to cover this off are:  in the website terms of use on your website, which protects the IP in your website;  in your client contract or terms and conditions, which protects any materials you make available to your clients; and whenever you collaborate with someone in some kind of joint venture.

3. Make sure you own the IP in anything that is created for you. When a third party provides services to your business, like a VA, graphic designer, online business manager and so on, make sure you have a written contract in place which specifies that the IP in anything they create for you is transferred to you.  Otherwise it belongs them!! Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true!

If you're serious about protecting your IP, take a look at my IP Protection System, designed especially for coaches.

Looking to trademark your name and logo, we can do it for you. Find out more here.

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