Ep. 105 – In this episode, Chris speaks with Attorney Erik Pelton about brand protection. Erik is the founder and managing attorney at Erik M. Pelton & Associates, a boutique trademark firm that helps businesses build and protect strong brands. There’s a common saying in boxing “Protect Yourself at All Times”. The same should be said for your brand. Tune in to hear Eric explain how you should be looking at and approaching your brand protection in this digital age.
You’re listening to the off systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sale systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.
Chris Davis 0:30
Welcome to the our systems go podcast. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, founder and chief automation Officer of automation bridge, where we train digital marketing professionals on how to automate their marketing and sales first for themselves, then for their clients. I call these types of professionals, automation service providers. And if you would like to become one or figure out if you should look forward to becoming one as a career or if it’s something that you will naturally be good at. We have a quiz, we have a short assessment in the form of a quiz that will help identify and put you on the right path immediately. So if that’s you, if you are technically inclined to digital marketer, I want you to go to automationbridge.com/ASP and take that brief quiz to figure out if you would, if you have what it takes to become an automation service provider. If you’re new to the podcast, do me a favor make sure you listen to this episode in its entirety. And then right at the end, subscribe. Subscribing, leave a five star rating and review if you are a listener and haven’t subscribed yet. I don’t know what you’re waiting on. I really don’t There are a lot of things in life that I do know. And a lot of things that I don’t that would go under the category that I don’t Okay, what are you waiting for now is the time, click the subscribe button the all systems go podcast at the time of this recording is free to subscribe to. And you can find it in all main podcasting apps like Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, you can even subscribe on YouTube if you’d like. Okay, while you’re at it, just make sure you leave your five star rating and review is greatly appreciated. In this episode, I get to speak with attorney Eric Pelton around brand protection and you know there’s a common saying in boxing, protect yourself at all times. While the same should go for your brand. Protect your brand at all times. Eric is going to sit down and walk us through how we should be looking at and approaching brand protection in this digital age. All right, Eric is the founder and managing partner or managing attorney I’m sorry, at Eric impotent and Associates. It’s a boutique trademark firm that helps businesses build and protect strong brands. He was a former US TPO trademark examiner, and he’s been making trademarks bloom since 1999. He’s launched his firm focused on exceptional service and flat and flat fees, which is important for attorneys. Geez. In 2020, he became an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC where he manages the trademarks clinic, the school’s trademark clinic. He’s also an author of building a bold brand. And host the tricks of the trade in parentheses, Mark podcast. So I’m really looking forward to you all getting some insight from Eric, today on the podcast. As I find that the last time I had an attorney on Stanley tate to talk about marketing and legal it was it was well received. So I’m hoping that this podcast is the same. So enjoy the conversation between Eric and Eric, welcome to the podcast. Glad to have you on how are you doing?
Erik Pelton 3:54
I’m doing great today. Glad to be here.
Chris Davis 3:56
Now this is this is a extremely important podcast. Any anytime you’re dealing with something legal, it’s important, right? There’s nothing fun in life. Most of the time people start sweating bullets, right? When you start talking about legal,
Erik Pelton 4:13
we try to make it more pleasant than that. But of course, most people’s interactions with lawyers, they think of bad circumstances, you know, car accident, arrests, whatever bad things. I’m lucky that I get to help people build things and do good things, you know, with their brands.
Chris Davis 4:32
Absolutely man. So and we’re going to have that theme you all who are listening, this is going to be a lighter, more fun you know how we do on the all systems go podcast, but it’s extremely important is extremely important to understand the legal aspect of protecting yourself protecting your brand online. The timing, when should I be focused on what and what should I expect, right? That’s what I’m excited to to go over with you today, but before we jump into it, Eric, give us a little bit about your background and your business.
Erik Pelton 5:07
Yeah, so I am a lawyer, I practice almost exclusively in the world of trademarks, helping businesses, build and protect their brands. I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years on my own. Prior to that, I worked for the government for the US Patent and Trademark Office for about two years. And I get to work with businesses, small and large, all over the country all over the world. And I’m lucky that I get to I really enjoy what I do.
Chris Davis 5:36
Yeah. And what I want to know, the burning question early is somewhere in your, in your matriculation into becoming a lawyer and improving and sharpening your sword? Where was there a point that you started to look at the internet differently than your counterparts see that there’s an opportunity to leverage it in a more efficient manner.
Erik Pelton 6:05
So it was actually right away for me, but it was because it was at maybe a little bit older. This was 1999, when I launched my practice. So the internet was really just blossoming as a way of doing business. And believe it or not, in 1999, a significant amount, maybe even a majority of law firms didn’t even have websites, they didn’t know what it was. They didn’t think it was valuable. They didn’t know how to build one or hire somebody to do it. And I actually learned how to code HTML on my own at the time and built my own first, very crude website. But I knew that this was part of the key to making it more accessible and more affordable to smaller businesses, that hiring a lawyer to help you shouldn’t have to be such a big, scary, expensive thing. And I wanted to present. No, you’re not going to a downtown law firm with a giant conference room and a marble lobby and paying, you know, out the way more than you should for the services. No, I wanted to get accessible, affordable, and use the internet and use technology to help drive that and deliver it.
Chris Davis 7:17
Yeah, yeah. But why? Why wasn’t that overwhelming to you? Because what I find for most, most service providers, let alone in the in the legal industry. It’s like the websites are so outdated, you could tell they don’t put a lot of effort. So so one is for you to acknowledge that, hey, there’s an opportunity. But did you have like, were you a tinkerer as a child? Like what was it that made the technology side of it not overwhelming for you?
Erik Pelton 7:47
I? That’s a great question. I think it was really just the entrepreneurial side that I really just wanted to figure out how to make this work, that I saw it as a business idea, this lower cost flat fee, more efficient, approachable, law firm helping with trademarks, that there was a market for that, that it didn’t really exist at the time. And I was willing to get through the technology to make that work. I wasn’t so high tech was also a little bit of, you know, necessity is the mother of invention. I knew all the kinds of things coming out of law school that I didn’t want to do, like, I didn’t want to work at a courthouse. I didn’t want to do criminal I didn’t want to do family law. I didn’t want to work for a big law firm with a stressful hours and things and so by default, it’s kinda was like, Okay, I need a way to pay the bills and pay back my loans and figure out something that’ll work. And so that’s where I landed.
Chris Davis 8:47
Got it. Got it. I love it, man. And the topic of today is is one of importance. Because I will say I find people usually at two extremities, right, and and I’m on the wreck for saying when people don’t understand we default to extremes, right? So if I don’t know what to do, I’m going to do a whole lot of something or a whole lot of nothing, but very rarely do I navigate in between, because navigating that gray space that spectrum really requires understanding. So what I found in my experience is people either start to focus on the legal stuff too soon, or too late. Right? They they say hey look, before I can publish a blog, I need to make sure everything is copyrighted and trademark and before I show my logo on my website, you have that party right? And people are like, Come on, just do something right. Then you have the other party that’s just like look, you don’t need that stuff just published online. It’s the worldwide web just make money. And then later on you find Hey, somebody swiped my course somebody is using my name somebody this this and that then you get legal involved. So I wanted you to come on and talk to us and more specifically, we can focus on copywriting and trademark but if there’s other The areas that you see that are very instrumental to focus on. But how does one find that balance? Eric, when should someone be focused? And when should they not, per se? And what does it mean, man? What does the copyright in a tray? What does it mean?
Erik Pelton 10:19
So I hear you, because in terms of straddling both of those ends of the spectrum, because in business, I think I learned an important lesson, not at the outset, but along the way, that is, for most things, you know, getting it done, and getting it done good, is much better than getting it done perfectly, because perfection often means you keep tinkering, you keep waiting to keep doing it, and it never gets done. Or by the time you think it’s perfect, now the whole market has moved on, and you got to start with something else or adjust it right. So like getting it done pretty damn good is usually more than enough. But when it comes to these important legal things, it is like a foundation, like a foundation on a house or a structure or a building. And if you don’t build that solid foundation at the outset, it is much riskier, you’re not as protected, something unfortunately bad could happen, it could end up costing you a lot more money, a lot more time than it would to take those few steps at the outset and get it right. So when it comes to trademark and your brand name, or your logo, but the brand name is the most important, you know, logos can be changed or tweaked. It’s not as drastic of a impact on your business, but your your brand name, which is going to tie to your domain name, your social media, everything about how people search for you and know you. If you don’t properly search and clear that brand name before you start using it, and you don’t take the steps to then file and protect it, you’re you’re taking on a lot more risk than is prudent. And yes, it costs some money to get it right and do it upfront. And it can be a little bit painful sometimes when you have to change things. But it is so worthwhile. Because you get the protection, you build that stronger foundation. And then you don’t have to stress nearly as much that, hey, what if I build this, it’s the next great thing. I’m I’m popular, I’m getting reviews, I’m getting testimonials, I’m getting all these things, and I get a letter in the mail. And it says, I don’t know how you miss this, but your name is so close to our name. And we can’t tolerate that and we demand you stop it or we’re about to file this lawsuit. And then you’ve got like no good options. Even if you think you have a strong case, you’re looking at stress and time and warriors that you know to fight back. So it really is worth the steps to protect it to clear it upfront.
Chris Davis 13:09
That’s a really good point. You don’t know what you don’t know. And you don’t know how quick things will go or not. So it’s just safe to make sure I’m thinking about me. I didn’t even do that man. I didn’t even check. I mean, I know better. Now don’t get me wrong. But I remember, you know, 10 years ago or so I was just trying to find a free domain. What domain is nobody using? Right? And it wasn’t until later that I started to establish automation bridge and I started seeing other people using it. I was like, Hey, stop that. Right? Just want to reach to the computers slap their hand. And I had no legal backing to do so. Which led me down to the trademark path and it’s just like, Okay, I need to get a trademark to protect this. Talk to us a little bit give us the the fourth grader definition of what a trademark is. And then let us know what does a trademark actually protect and what are its limitations.
Erik Pelton 14:04
So a trademark can be anything that identifies your products or services. And so Nike is a great example because almost everybody’s familiar with it or everybody’s familiar with it. And Nike has several trademarks, right you think about the Nike name, that’s obviously their their most important trademark, but you think about the swoosh design logo. That’s a separate trademark because they don’t always use it with the words and vice versa. Right. Sometimes you have just the swoosh on a side of a shoe or on a box or on a on a shirt. And then they have a great tagline that everybody knows just do it as well. So those are three different trademarks that they’ve got for their overall Nike brand. And then they have different products right where they could have Air Jordan, right is a is a separate brand name and trademark and the jordan jumpman logo With a separate logo, so one business can have many, many brands and trademarks, things that identify their products or services.
Chris Davis 15:09
Yeah, in the real quick, that trademark prevents anybody else from using it correct?
Erik Pelton 15:17
Correct without permission, you know, permission. And once it’s registered, you have a lot more protection, when it’s not registered, you have some protection based on your use, but that protection may be limited geographically to where you’ve conducted business. Now, with the internet, a lot of businesses are operating nationwide all the time, that’s not so much of an issue. But think of a restaurant or a dry cleaner, or an accountant, you know, they might only be using it in their metropolitan area. And if they don’t get protection, that means that if they’re in California, and somebody uses the identical name for the identical services in Chicago, or Florida, or New York, they’re probably not going to be able to stop them. When you register it, you get protection nationwide, you appear in the search database that others are using all the time when they’re clearing new names, either on their own or working with lawyers or others, to help clear new brands and to just that is a tremendous value, to help eliminate people who might otherwise have thought this was a good idea. But then they see your name in the in the register in the database. And they stop. That’s right. And then having the registration also gives you lots of legal protections like being able to sue easier takedown on social media easier, go for damages, higher amounts of damages, which all leads towards generally making it easier to stop somebody who’s copying it.
Chris Davis 16:49
I love it, man. And one of the things that was brought to my attentions, so this is the year of my my identity was borrowed without permission a few times and some of my content. And it forced me to go down the path of copywriting and trademark, which we’re going to talk about copyright in a minute. And one of the things that I realized and I would love to hear your your insight on it is that since like you mentioned, you can do business online, and it’s international. I was I got have my trademark in process of being filed for the US. But I also realize that oh, wait a minute. If I’m in other countries doing business at a at a you know, major level, it doesn’t it’s not worldwide, I will have to go to those specific countries as well. Is that Is that true? Is that what you you’re the teaching that you give as well, that
Erik Pelton 17:40
is true. When we talk about copyright, you’ll see that that’s more international automatically. But for trademark, you when you register in the US, it only protects you in the US and each country has their own registration system basically. And so you know, it’s it that gets expensive, you know, when you go into a lot of multiple countries, because you might need lawyers in each country, and there’s filing fees in each country. But like you said, if you’re doing business in those countries, if you have a significant amount of sales or customers in any particular place, then it’s worth at least thinking about whether it’s worth protecting it there because unfortunately, a lot of other countries don’t have a strong laws as we have. And so it’s even easier for people to copy it and get away with things or even register your name in another country without them even really making any sales or doing any business. That’s a lot easier in a lot of other countries. China’s a huge problem right now. And all these other places there is one one great tip for international protection is that you can get a registration across the EU that covers all of the EU for just one filing. So that’s a better value if you’re doing business in Europe than having to go country by country.
Chris Davis 18:55
Got it in one more question on a trademark that I think is important. If the trademark protects the name, what happens if somebody comes up with that name in a different industry? Does it also protect industry? Why so if somebody was like Hey, ballers HQ, you know for shoes and basketballs, and then somebody else came up with ballers HQ, but it wasn’t in sports, it was maybe in food for gumballs and meatballs and everything. How does the trademark work and so students
Erik Pelton 19:36
die and that’s why you need an expert to help when you’re searching for a name and clearing it because names can coexist in different industries if they’re not competing with each other, but it’s not black and white. There’s a lot of gray area to spectrum depends how creative the name is, how separate the industries are, but delta faucets and delta airlines coexist, right? They have nothing to do with each other. Yeah, dove bar is for soap. And then there’s dove ice cream bars, they have nothing to do with each other. So words can coexist. But the more creative your name is, the more scope of protection you’re going to get. And that so it’s a important analysis to undertake.
Chris Davis 20:28
Great this, this is really good. Again, I had to learn this through experience in like you mentioned before, like, oh, wait a minute, somebody. In fact, there’s an infraction on my brand. So I’m familiar with some of it, but just hearing you say it, I just, it’s like muscle memory, just keep listening and listening. And it gives you insight, everybody, it’s not just about searching for that domain, is it the.com available for $12? A year? Right? Like, look at the specifics of it, like, hey, is this unique enough? Right? Does it already exist? Because if I, I feel good about it, maybe that was somebody else’s era, but they already have an established brand or established momentum. And I come in, and just when I’m about to take off, they’re like, Hey, thank you for your little bitty play.
Erik Pelton 21:17
Like sometimes people will think oh, well, I added a hyphen. So I could get the domain name. So it’s totally different. But like, under trademark law, that’s generally not going to make a significant difference or adding it as to make it plural like that. Yes, that domain might be available. But that’s not different enough, from the one that’s already out there if you’re in competing or related industries.
Chris Davis 21:41
Yeah, yeah. So we’ve got the trademark, I think the trademark is is extremely important. But copywriting is as well, I hear I see the C circle and the TM circle, used interchangeably at times, it seems. And even sometimes I get confused. And then there’s the R, which is I know, registered trademark, but it’s like all of all of these symbols. What do they mean? And when do I need it? So tell us give us the the four year old definition of copyright and let us know what what protections we have under that.
Erik Pelton 22:12
So copyright is any kind of original work that is created. And the good news is that some protection starts immediately as soon as you publish it. Especially if you use that copyright notice, like all you have to do is put on the bottom of your website, copyright 2021 Eric Pelton, you know, okay, then I have some protection. Now you can register it with the Library of Congress to get more protection. And that’s easier than registering a trademark because not quite the same review that they do. And it’s less expensive. But to go back to what a copyright is, when I say an original work, that means text, graphics, photos, videos, and audio, like we’re doing today recording, a podcast, all of that content, all of that work is copyrightable. So two things are two, the two main tips are number one, when you publish them, you want to use that copyright notice as frequently as possible and as visible as possible. So people know, when they’re going to download a video or an article or a ebook, on your website, that that is something that you’ve created, and you claim the copyright in, and you want to make sure that you’re broadcasting that, that copyright notice. The second thing is, in agreements, if someone is helping you, if someone is contracted to edit your videos, or help write blog posts, or design your website or graphics for your website, all of that contract work. You need specific clauses in the contract to make sure that you own the copyright assuming that you want to own the sole copyright and control them. Because it’s it falls under a an area of copyright law called work for hire. And the danger is that unless you have a specific written agreement with those provisions, the contractor actually can own the copyright. And so even though you’re paying them to do the work, unless you have it in writing that they’re giving you back the copyright, they have some control over how it’s used or being able to share it or use it in other ways.
Chris Davis 24:33
Yeah, cuz it’s original work that was created by them under your permission, but it’s legally it’s still Oh my goodness. These are It’s little things like that. That you just hear you don’t hear it often. But when you hear it you’re just like what a contractor stole Nope, they didn’t steal they had the legal rights to because you didn’t have your protections in place. So I know a lot of people listening have websites. I’m pretty Usually, like 95%, or more, maybe even close, I hope closer to that of my listeners have websites. So is the process of copywriting your content on your website, as simple as submitting for a copyright on the website, then everything and anything that’s published is covered?
Erik Pelton 25:17
Yeah, the challenge with uh, with registering a website, copyright with the Library of Congress, many of you can go to copyright.gov is their website and see a lot more information about it is that a website is generally not static, right? It’s changing all the time. It’s not like a film, where you say, Oh, we just released this film, it’s a done product now. And we’re going to register the copyright for it, go web. So when you register that website, you’re basically giving them the code or the files for everything that’s on it at that time. And that’s what’s getting registered. So the changes, additions that come after that, technically aren’t part of the registration. And what you might want to do is think about refiling for the website, every year, two years, something like that. Or if you create like ebooks or, you know, special material that is really valuable, that kind of is the core of your work, you know, you that you pick two or three or four things that best represent your work. And you register those things. Because you it doesn’t make sense to register everything. I mean, I release a new podcast and video every week. I’m not I’m not registering those things. But it does make sense to maybe do the whole website with all of the things on it, and then come back and do it in a year or two years, the filing fee for a copyright registration is 40 or $50. So it’s not tremendous investment.
Chris Davis 26:48
Yeah, I think that that is a fair expectation, if you’re going to do business virtually online, that you at least every year, revisit, okay, what do we create? Some people aren’t into the content production, you know, space, so maybe their website does stay more static, more informative. But for my content marketers, those who are actively generating leads, there’s a good chance within 12 months, you’ve created a lot of content, you’ve probably created a course program something right that that is worth just saying, You know what, let me just pay the 50. Even if it was up to $300 300 $500 a year to protect all of your original content. I think it’s worth it. Trademarks. I know, I guess I didn’t ask this about about trademarks. But what is the range that somebody should have in mind if they if they want to pay for it,
Erik Pelton 27:43
too. So the government filing fee for trademark is about $300. It depends on how many different categories you have in it, but the basic is about $300 to get some protection. And then if you work with a lawyer, you can expect to maybe spend about 1500 or $2,000 Total on the trademark protection. It is a long process because you’re dealing with the government, and they’re slow. But getting it filed is the important thing, getting it filed as of that filing date, you start getting some protection, and you show up in that government search database. And so you’re a lot more protected as of the filing. And I wouldn’t stress about how long it takes. I would stress about getting it filed as soon as possible. Generally.
Chris Davis 28:24
Got it. Yeah, yeah, I’m in that process, actually. And it’s, it’s been quite tumultuous that the government there? Yeah, I’ll just leave it at that.
Erik Pelton 28:35
Yeah, well, there’s very specific long set of rules and procedures. And that’s why working with a lawyer, obviously, I’m biased, but I think it’s a great value, and helpful. Not that not that people can’t figure much most of it out on their own. But it’s very time consuming. And you don’t have the tools and the software, you know that we have built to manage it and make it a lot less painful.
Chris Davis 28:59
Yeah, I’m gonna ask a question. Don’t cringe Eric, I have to warn you don’t cringe. There are people out there that subscribe to the thought, you know what everything that he say? You could just go on LegalZoom? And do yourself? What do you have to say for the people who like to go to the websites that generate the auto that auto generate your privacy policies? And hey, use our services to copyright for $15? We’ve got it under control. What what what do you have to say do you support do you give a word of caution? What What What’s your intake there?
Erik Pelton 29:34
I would definitely give some caution. I would probably say you get what you pay for. You know, these are not one size fit all things. They’re complex legal advice. Again, that example of country names coexist and how similar the names and house home or industry is like, you can’t just plug that into a formula and get an answer a computer can’t tell you the answer. So With experience has to give you a range of answers and a range of risk and depends on your tolerance. And so all of these nuances are very valuable to work with an expert. And I’ll tell you, like, I create a lot of content. A lot of lawyers traditionally have been like, Well, why would I give away information for free? That’s where people are paying me for? Yeah, so I created a podcast, I have a video channel with hundreds of videos on it. I give lots of content information. A large part of that is telling people about the process. But it’s also really sort of subliminally showing them that it’s really hard. Like, I can explain this because I’ve been, I’ve done it 1000s of times for 25 years. Yeah. But, you know, when I shop for like, a dentist to get a cavity fixed, I’m not looking for the cheapest dentist, right? I’m looking for one that somebody recommends, I went, they did a great job. It was a good value. They took care of me, you know, like, there’s other factors. And you’re not just shopping on price alone?
Chris Davis 31:03
Yeah, no, great. Oh, my goodness, great point. I, I am one of those people I will pay. I don’t want to be the one thinking about it. There are people out there that are experts at it. And when it comes to legal stuff, you don’t want any shortcuts, you that is one area, you you can go cheap at your own will but do not complain later. Because the pain that comes from going cheap in the legal industry, could they it could be lifelong. You could mess your but you could lose your business. You could Iran, I shouldn’t say Iran. So you can irresponsibly Put your signature on something that gives people more rights to your stuff than you as the creator. So listen, get get a legal professional, Eric didn’t say it. But I will stay as far away from LegalZoom as you can if you truly want to protect your brand. Okay. Now, you mentioned you create a lot of content I want to in our last few few minutes together, I want to get into some fun stuff. This is a automated marketing show, and you’ve got a gun, your website is Legion enabled, you’re making content of the other lawyers and attorneys are like what’s wrong with this guy, I get paid for the stuff that he’s given away for free. Tell us a bit about how video has impacted the marketing of your business and how you’re able to leverage it for success.
Erik Pelton 32:29
It’s, it’s been great for me, Number Number one is just the search traffic based on YouTube and videos that is, you know, rapidly catching up to the regular Google and web traffic based on what I’ve been reading and following. But but two other reasons that it’s great. One is when I make videos and share videos, people generally when they visit my website, or someone tells them about me, they generally see one of the videos, I have a video on almost every page of my website introducing it. And I you know, publish lots of videos on social media things, and they hear my voice. And they hear my personality, a little bit of my character, right, and then I’m open and sharing. And so even before they send me that email asking about working together, or they pick up the phone and call me, we’ve already got a little bit of a relationship. It’s not like a cold call anymore. They already feel like they know who Eric is, because they’ve already heard my voice. And they’ve already seen my face and all of those things, and so tremendously valuable for that. The second reason people tell me all the time, when they call, I watched your videos, like that’s the number one thing that people tell me when they call to inquire. Second thing is I use the videos to automate create more content, right, I use a service to make transcripts of them, turn them into blog posts, I oftentimes will have a graphic that I make. And I’ll make a video and build it around that graphic or vice versa. So they like play off of each other. And I’ll share the graphic on social media and build a blog post around that as well. I’m also I was doing podcasts and videos separately. Now I’m doing them as as one, every podcast is also a video and vice versa. So it’s just generating all that different content to get to people in the way that you know, to get in front of them and deliver it in the way that they want to see it because different people approach content from different ways. So I’m a strong believer in putting a lot out there and putting it out in all different, you know, manners.
Chris Davis 34:42
Hmm, yeah, that that’s really good. I love the you’re mentioned because it has been something that I’ve been watching as well is the reliance on YouTube. Right. People are really going there. And I’m seeing it across generations man It used to be just like the young, cool tech savvy folks. But now everybody’s on YouTube, I’ve seen, you know, people in my family that have taught me how to fix cars, if there’s something that they don’t know how to do, I’ve seen like my dad or uncle pull up their phone and search on YouTube. And it’s just like, Whoa, this is a thing. This like YouTube, it is becoming a common verb. In the in the English language is not just a website that you go to, to watch funny videos or, you know, get entertainment. So I think it coupled with the intention, right? If I’m on Facebook, I’m not intending to look at anything, but maybe be nosy and catch up with friends. But I’m intentionally looking for things on YouTube. So I can imagine if somebody is looking for something around legal help, right, they see your video, you’re on there explaining it in a way that makes sense. And then there’s an easy way to go to your website, your website is very easy to navigate, get on a call, send you an email and talk to you. I mean, half of the marketing, maybe even more of half of more than half of your marketing is complete before you even speak to them. That’s right.
Erik Pelton 36:11
It’s it. That’s right. It’s not. It’s not a hard sell. So does when, because people already have information they already know. Like, they already know something about me and about the services when they’re calling and then you can make it that, hey, you’re not comparing just the price of me and these other things. You understand my passion, my experience, my knowledge, my approach my service. And so I can say there is no comparison, right? Other people do other things. They might charge more, they might charge last they might have. But you know, what I’m delivering is unique to what? To what I have.
Chris Davis 36:54
Yeah, absolutely. This has been really great. extremely informative. Eric, I can’t thank you enough, man. If people want to find out more about you watch your videos, where’s the best place that they can go to get more of Eric?
Erik Pelton 37:07
Yeah, if you go to Eric Pelton, that’s erikpelton.com. You’ll see my website with the link to everything. That the video actually made it easy if you go to Eric pelton.tv. it forwards right to the videos. Eric Pelton dot live, forwards write to the podcasts. And I wrote a book last year called Building a bold brand that has all kinds of information in much more depth about what we’ve talked about with choosing a name, clearing a name, protecting a name, all those kinds of things.
Chris Davis 37:40
And it sounds extremely valuable. So we’ll have the link to your website in the show notes. So if you guys didn’t get it, but it’s erikpelton.com. Eric, again, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast man
Erik Pelton 37:56
is greatly appreciated. great talking with you. Thanks.
Chris Davis 37:58
Alright, thanks for listening to this episode, I hope you have a better understanding of the difference between trademark and copyright, the importance of them, and why you should be thinking about making sure you have them in place for your business. If you’re serious about business, I want to repeat this, I said it in the podcast. If you are serious about legally protecting your business, you don’t need to be looking anywhere near LegalZoom. I don’t have anything against LegalZoom. I was one of those people that started there, it’s great for if you’re just starting out, have an idea. Just want to do some cheap stuff. But I’m serious. When you want to protect your brand. You need some expert eyes, some expert guidance that can walk you through this stuff. Alright, so who is that person that you may have been telling or when you’re listening to this, you’re like, Oh, my goodness, I hope they have this in place. whoever that person is, make sure that you share today’s episode with them. And if you found value in it, and you’re not subscribed, now’s the time to subscribe new listeners, existing listeners, everybody. Make sure that you’re subscribed to the all systems go podcast. Here at automation bridge. We’re dedicated to training digital marketers into becoming automation service providers by teaching them how to automate their profitable marketing and sales. Right? This is what small businesses are in dire need of how do you take what’s profitable and scale it? Well, you’ve got to apply automation and you’ve got to do it in the correct way. That’s what an automation service provider does. That’s what we’re dedicated to creating. So if you want to know if this is a path that you should venture down a profitable path and career. This is if listened to the podcast, that techy stuff just really gets you going. I would invite you to go take our brief quiz, and it will quickly assess in under two minutes. It will quickly assess and give you next steps to take If we deem that you would make a great automation service provider, that quiz that is at automationbridge.com/ASP we’ve also made it easy for you to get access to everything else that you need by visiting all systems go podcast.com It will give you the latest episodes you’ll be able to look into our amplify my automation packages, which are geared to putting automated marketing and sales systems in your business over the next six six months. We have a free Facebook group you can join you can request our refer someone to be a guest on the podcast if you’re a digital marketer experiencing results if you’re a marketing automation specialist experiencing results or if you’re a SaaS founder with software that said digital marketers and automated marketing automation specialists should know about cumbia guest and any other resource of training we’ve mentioned on the podcast, one URL to remember get you access to it all in that’s allsystemsgopodcast.com Thank you for taking the time to listen to today’s episode. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly my friends
- [5:07] About Erik and how he decided to focus on being a law firm that helped with trademarks
- [8:47] How to find a balance between focusing on the legal aspects of your business too soon and too late
- [13:52] What a Trademark is – including what it protects and it’s limitations
- [16:50] Eric answers if a Trademark protects you internationally
- [21:41] What a Copyright is and how it can protect you
- [25:06] The process of copywriting your content on your website
- [28:59] Eric’s word of caution on auto generated privacy policies and copyrights
- [32:00] How Eric has used video content to market and scale his legal business
- [39:08] How to become an Automation Service Provider™
Erik Pelton is the founder and managing attorney at Erik M. Pelton & Associates, a boutique trademark firm that helps businesses build and protect strong brands. A former USPTO trademark examiner, Erik has been making trademarks bloom since 1999 when he launched his firm focusing on exceptional service and flat fees. In 2020, Erik became an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC, where he manages the school’s trademark clinic. Erik is also the author of Building a Bold Brand and hosts the Tricks of the Trade(mark) podcast.
- Website: https://www.erikpelton.com
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About the Show
On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.
Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.
Chris L. Davis
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant