I once had someone steal my website graphic for use on his site. This was potentially disastrous for me because the site was promoting a scam and it looked like I (because it was my logo) was endorsing it. Another time, someone copied and pasted text from my website, including my personal story, to her website. When challenged, the site owner told me that ideas can’t be copyrighted. She was right. However, she didn’t steal my ideas, she stole my exact words. That is copyright infringement. More recently, a group of people started using Work-At-Home Success (and WAHSuccess) in their marketing materials. Smart people wanting to know more did research and instead found me. While getting other people’s traffic is a good thing, I don’t want my business to be confused with theirs. This is why it’s important to protect your work. You will be building a brand and a reputation that you don’t want ruined or diluted by others.
Here are strategies for protecting your work:
Copyright: Protects written and art work that you have created. Copyright protection is easy and affordable to obtain. Visit the US Copyright office for details.
Trademark: Protects slogans, logos and business identifying devises. Trademark takes time and money to obtain, but can be well worth it to protect your business. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for information.
Patent: Protects ideas for inventions from being used by someone else for 20 years. This can take time and money as well. But considering the potential income from an invention or or process, it is worth the effort. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for details.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she’s been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.