Copyrights and Trademarks: What You Need to Know for Your Website

Have you ever wished you could get understandable information about trademarks and copyrights and other legal issues regarding your small business website?  For questions such as:

  • Someone is stealing my blog content and images — what can I do?
  • Or:  We have been using a logo for 3 years but have not filed a trademark; can we protect it or did we miss the filing deadline?
  • Or:  What’s the best way to remember to update your copyright date?

We’re here to help! We are holding a Twitter chat with an attorney and an experienced Web entrepreneur.  You will get the straight scoop on common trademark and copyright questions asked by small businesses about their online presence.  Here are the details:

WHAT: Online chat using Twitter.  These chats are also called tweetchats.  (Sounds exotic, but trust me, they’re simple events.)

WHO: We have two esteemed guest speakers.

  • Brent Britton (@bcjb) is an attorney with experience in Internet-related legal issues.  According to his Wikipedia entry he is “firmwide head of the Emerging Business and Technology practice group at the Tampa, Florida, office of GrayRobinson, P.A. He is a recognized expert in laws relating to virtual worlds and online communities, including virtual crime.” Brent will provide legal information and answer legal-related questions.
  • Denise O'BerryDenise O’Berry (@DeniseOberry) is a well known figure in the world of small business.  She is author of the book Small Business Cash Flow.  Denise is also a long-time Internet marketer and blogger.  She’s faced the common issues that small businesses face with protecting their online presence. Denise will help field questions, moderate the discussion, and add her perspective from firsthand experience.

Save date on your calendar!

WHERE: On Twitter.  You’ll be able to see a record of the chat during and after the event, by using the hashtag #SMBChat page.

HOW: There are 3 ways you can participate.

  1. Leave a comment below with the question you want answered.  Or, tell us about your experience with a copyright or trademark issue and any lessons learned.  We’ll try to get an answer or discuss your story.
  2. Log in to Twitter during the chat to follow the conversation and ask questions.  Do a search for the hashtag #SMBchat to follow what others are saying.  When you comment, be sure to add the hashtag #SMBchat to your tweets during the event.  That’s the only way others will know you are part of the conversation.
  3. During and after the chat we’ll have a checklist of pointers about trademarks and copyrights.  Return to the SMBchat page to download it.

WHY: Because I like you!

HP 8500 PrinterSPECIAL BONUS: We have an exciting random drawing for you.  Everyone who tweets in the chat or leaves a comment below, will be automatically entered in a random drawing for a chance to win an HP 8500 Officejet Pro Wireless Multifunction Printer/ Copier/ Scanner/ Fax.  This printer has a lot of great features for a small business, and I am giving it away to thank HP, who has made this chat possible by sponsoring this site.   See it here.

DISCLAIMER: This chat is for general information only. It should not be considered legal advice for your individual situation.

Update October 7, 2009: This giveaway has ended and the winner has been chosen.  Congratulations to Stacey Mayo, our drawing winner! A big “Thank You” goes out to everyone who participated.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO 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.