May 27, 2016

Checklist for Trademark and Copyright Issues on Your Website

The following is a checklist of issues and questions for protecting your online presence for your business, from the standpoint of trademarks and copyrights. We will be updating this as our tweetchat event (#smbchat) progresses.

Introductory reading


  • All content (text, images and other forms) is protected from the time of creation
  • Registration is a good idea
  • What to do if someone copies your stuff
  • What is it really worth?
  • What if they just gave you credit?
  • Cease & desist letters, lawsuits, settlements, results
  • Fees and costs

What to do you if you want to copy someone else’s stuff?

  • Can’t you just link to it?
  • Is it in the public domain?
  • What is fair use?
  • What is not fair use?
  • What if you get sued?


Choosing a brand is very complex – you need to check:

  • corporate availability
  • domain name availability
  • trademarkability

What if someone copies your trademark?

  • Are consumers likely to be confused?
  • Cease & desist letters, lawsuits, settlements, results
  • Fees and costs

What if you want to use a brand that is similar to someone else’s?

  • Will consumers be confused?
  • Is there such as thing as trademark fair use?

Resources for practically protecting yourself online

Clip & copy:

Google Alerts

Manage logins at social networking sites:

Tracer by Tynt:

Duplichecker (online plagiarism checker)  (checks chunks of content)

Copyscape (online plagiarism checker)  (checks pages)

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Anita Campbell - CEO

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of

8 Reactions

  1. This is a great resource and I’ve already tried Copyscape; very easy to use. The tweetchat has some amazing info, so go to and search #SMBchat.

  2. Martin Lindeskog


    Great checklist! It was a very informative #SMBchat on Twitter with @bcjb & @deniseoberry. I got my questions answered in a great way and I learned plenty of things and got much information out of the chat.

    Thanks for hosting the event!

  3. very well said… thanks for the very informative post…

  4. Nice resource, With so much blatent copyright infringement going on around, this checklist definitely helps. We’re always learning.

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