363 – Protecting Your IP To Scale Freely With Devin Miller
Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business
Many business owners push legal to the back of their priorities. But the reality is that if you want to scale, you need to protect your intellectual property and everything you’ve been working on for so many years.
Devin Miller, founder and CEO of Miller IP Law, is here to save the day. He loves helping small businesses and start-up owners save time and money by having their IP protected. In this episode, you will learn the difference between a patent, a trademark and copyright, a really cool way of getting some leads, and some great ways of getting your potential clients into calls.
03:27 – What are the problems Devin helps people to solve? He helps startups and small businesses protect and grow their business.
08:20 – What to trademark and what to no trademark. How to avoid a legal strike.
18:18 – Limits on branding when working with a tech partner or cloud business. Negotiate ahead of time how you're going to use the brand or what you're going to use it for.
23:37 – Strategies to successfully scale your startup business. Your current clients are a great source.
27:45 – A call to action in your LinkedIn profile banner. How effective is it?
32:05 – Should you copyright or trademark your podcast. This is what Devin recommends.
34:50 – The Rapid Fire Section.
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Intellectual property, copyright, patents, trademarks
The intellectual property incorporates multiple things underneath the term, including patents, trademarks, copyright.
Patents: They are going towards inventions. If you create something that has a functionality, that falls under patents. It can be software, and it can be hardware or electronics —an invention.
Trademarks: It’s anything that’s associated with branding. A name of a company, a name of a product, a logo, a catchphrase. It’s anything that incorporates with their brands.
Copyrights: They are going to be for creative elements. We are talking about a painting, a photo, a book, a movie. It’s anything that has creative nature.
What are the standards for trademark ability?
1. Whether or not your brand is confusingly similar to another trademark that’s already out there. What does that mean? That means if there was already a brand with a similar name, customers were to see both of those side‑by‑side, they probably think that it’s the same company, or at least they’re associated with each other.
So if there’s already somebody out there before you with a registered trademark that has the same or very similar name, you’re going to have one strike against whether or not you can get the trademark.
However, you also have to indicate the categories of goods and services you’re going to use them for. And if somebody is doing something completely unrelated to you and wants to use the same word, the trademark system is set up to allow that.
2. You can’t trademark something to where people think you described using a well‑known term or a well‑known phrase for your product that isn’t identifying with your actual brand. It’s what is called merely descriptive.
For example, if you open a fruit stand and call it Apple, people will think that you’re just describing the fruit, and that’s not the name of your business. So you can’t trademark Apple as the name of the fruit stand. But if you want to start a smartphone and consumer electronics named Apple, it has nothing to do with what you’re selling; that’s perfectly fine. You can’t be merely descriptive when it comes to trademarks.
How trademark works when working with tech partners and cloud businesses.
If you’re entering into a wholesale agreement or a partnership agreement where you’re selling a product for someone else, the best time to figure all that out is when you’re signing the agreement. Can you use their trademark? Can you use their copyright and material? Can I put it on my website? Think about all of this ahead and put it on the agreement. If you don’t do that and then use the brand in a way the partner feels misrepresented, you could lose the partnership and face a lawsuit in the worst-case scenario.
Strategies to successfully scale your startup business.
- Often, people overlook their current clients, and they are a great source of referrals. But don’t just go and ask people. Slowly bring them along with you, and they will think of you when another company needs your services.
- Searched for people that are asking for your services on social media. For example, Devin goes to Facebook or LinkedIn and search for people looking for a recommendation for a patent attorney or trademark attorney. Use the keywords for your business and then explore those terms wherever your audience is.
Copyright or trademark for your podcast?
Copyrights are going to protect the actual episode. If you have an episode that you get a ton of downloads or went viral, you should probably copyright that one because it’s valuable in and of itself. But if you have a more consistent audience that you’ve cultivated and you’re continually listening to, you should get the trademark of the actual name of the podcast and the logo.
The Rapid Fire Section
What are some of the daily habits that you do to help to accelerate your sales?
One is a very generic: consistency. In other words, I think that’s across the board. Everybody needs to be consistent. And the other, even though I hate the cliche, think
outside the box, but look for those places where is the low hanging fruit. Well trafficked platforms are so much harder to break through the noise, versus those areas that people tend to overlook, and oftentimes have a much bigger impact.
What are some of the tech tools you use to accelerate your sales?
I’m a big, big fan of automation to free up your time to increase your personal touch, which kind of tend to be conflicting. But if you think of you can automate the things that you don’t need to have the personal touch that allows you to have that personal touch, and then people really appreciate the personal touch.
What’s your best source of leads for new client acquisition?
I would say referrals and current clients, but also one of the bigger things we do a lot it’s upsells in the sense of how can we help them further along their journey. It’s a natural progression.
What is one action that someone can take to 10 X their sales today?
Putting a system in place to have the ability to cultivate leads. I would say, figure out how you’re going to keep the people that are interested in moving forward and actually capture those and cultivate them.
- Free Strategy Meeting
- Devin’s LinkedIn
- Law With Miller
- Accelerate Sales Program
About Devin Miller
Devin loves startups. He runs his own patent and trademark law firm to help startups and small businesses.
He also founded his first startup while earning my Law & MBA degrees (for a total of 4 degrees).
Since then, he has founded several 7 & 8 figure startups and enjoyed every minute of it.
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