The following is an outline of the expected curriculum, but the actual training will be based on your feedback and questions. Modules may be added or removed depending on input from participants in IPmasterclass Pilot.
Week 0: IPmasterclass Launch
Why an IPmasterclass Pilot?
An introduction to your startup’s most valuable asset, intellectual property. Each type of IP is introduced, and I explain how these different types of IP will work together.
I explain what an inventory is, show you how to complete your IP inventory, and then you’ll complete your initial IP inventory as fieldwork.
Week 1: IPmasterclass first steps
Registering your company
I’ll explain the difference between a company name and a mark, the importance of having a limited liability company or corporation, and will assign fieldwork.
Owning your company
I’ll show you how to register a limited liability company and a corporation in Florida. Then, you’ll register your limited liability company or corporation as fieldwork.
Owning your company - operating agreement template
I’ll explain why a limited liability company needs an operating agreement, walk you through the operating agreement template, and then you’ll create your company’s operating agreement as fieldwork.
Your business license
I’ll explain the different types of business licenses and show you how to search to see if you need a federal, state (Florida), county or city business license. Fieldwork: determine what licenses your business needs.
DUNS, banks and accounting
I’ll explain what these are and why you need them, if you need them. Also, I’ll provide some information on banking and accounting. Your fieldwork will be to open a bank account and setup your accounting system.
Week 2: IPmasterclass branding
Who is your customer?
Your fieldwork will be to define your customer.
What is a brand?
I’ll explain what a brand is and how it is used. We’ll look at an example, and then you’ll identify your brand(s) as fieldwork.
What's in a name?
I’ll explain how a trademark or service mark can be like a name (and why it isn’t a name), provide a process for picking marks that are distinctive, and then you’ll identify your character marks that might be a part of your brand as fieldwork.
Trademark v. Trade Dress
There’s more to branding than picking a name. I’ll explain the difference between a trademark and trade dress and show how these work together to identify a product. You’ll identify (create) your marks and trade dress, and you’ll identify the marks and trade dress of your competitors.
Domain name as IP?
How do domain names fit with traditional IP? What makes for a good domain name? How can domain names be used to reinforce your brand? What is domain name squatting?
Trademark knock-out search
I’ll teach you how to conduct a trademark knock-out search. Then, you’ll conduct knock-out searches for your marks.
Research your competition
Why do you need to know about your competition and how will that help to define your brand? How do you research your competitors? Your fieldwork will be to complete your first competitive intelligence worksheet.
Owning your new mark
I’ll explain how your company can own its marks, and then you’ll take action to own your marks.
I’ll explain how to own your trade dress, then you’ll take action to own a distinctive trade dress.
Week 3: IPmasterclass publishing
Build a website?
Should you have a website? What should you have on your website? What shouldn’t you have on your website? How are your marks displayed on your website? How can you create an inexpensive web presence? Your fieldwork is to create (edit) your customer focused website.
Should I publish?
What is a publication? What are the types and purposes of publications? What shouldn’t I publish. Your fieldwork is to identify content that you will publish and content that you will not publish.
What is content marketing? Is content marketing right for you? What don’t I share? Your fieldwork is to create a content marketing strategy if appropriate for your business.
Week 4: IPmasterclass copyright
What is a work of authorship?
I’ll explain copyright law and authorship, and you’ll identify works of authorship that your company will own.
Who is an author?
The law provides for authorship by people and companies. What’s the difference? You’ll determine who the authors are for your works of authorship.
Own the copyright
How does your company own a copyright in a work of authorship created by a third party author? You’ll identify third party authors.
Copyright Work for Hire and Assignment-form
You’ll use an agreement template to create this custom agreement for your company. Your fieldwork is to use this agreement for works that you and others create for your company.
Week 5: IPmasterclass infringement
What is IP infringement? What are the consequences? How can you avoid IP infringement? Your fieldwork will be to identify competitors’ IP and to make sure that your company is avoiding any claim of infringement by using distinctive IP that your company owns or licenses.
Licensing or owning?
I’ll explain the differences and similarities of IP ownership and licensing. Your fieldwork will be deciding what is right for your company.
What is a release? How is it used? You’ll create a custom release form for use by your company.
Taking down an infringing website
What is a copyright take down policy and how is it used? You’ll create your company’s take down policy, and you’ll learn how to take down websites that infringe your IP.
Trademark search revisited
We’ll revisit trademark searches, and you’ll conduct a more detailed due diligence search for a mark.
I’ll explain the trademark process and what an opposition is. Then, you’ll set up a trademark watch process, and you’ll be able to identify applications for registration that could hurt your brand in time to oppose the application.
If someone does file a trademark application that could potentially hurt your brand, how can you resolve the issue without incurring tens of thousands of dollars on an opposition? You’ll learn how to create your own coexistence agreement (and learn why you should hire an attorney to help you).
Week 6: IPmasterclass ideas
How to own ideas
What is an idea? What types of ideas can be owned? How do you own an idea? Your fieldwork will be to apply what you learn to add to your IP inventory.
Create an IP agreement
You’ll create a custom confidentiality and IP agreement for your company.
Patent or Secret?
You’ll decide whether to protect ideas by patent or trade secret.
Who is an Inventor?
I’ll explain inventorship and who is an inventor. Then, you will identify your inventors.
Create a patent assignment
You’ll create a patent assignment.
Week 7: IPmasterclass protecting your IP
Protecting trademarks and service marks
You’ll learn when it is important to protect your marks.
You’ll learn how to file a Florida state trademark application (and why you might want to use an attorney).
You’ll learn how to file a federal trademark applicaiton (and why you might want to use an attorney).
You’ll learn why it’s important to register a copyright and how it is done. Your fieldwork will be to register for an account and to file an application to register one of your copyrights.
Capturing trade secrets
You’ll set up a process for identifying and protecting your company’s trade secrets.
You’ll set up a process for identifying and protecting your company’s patentable inventions.
Protecting domain names
You’ll set up a process for identifying and protecting your company’s valuable domain names.
Week 8: IPmasterclass building value
The why and how of recruiting talent from an IP viewpoint. You’ll use this process to identify and onboard talent.
Employees v. contractors
You’ll learn how to distinguish between employees and contractors.
You’ll create an employee agreement for your company’s employees.
What is an innovation notebook and how is it used. You’ll start using an innovation notebook.
Control access to domain names
How can you control access to domain names?
You’ll update your IP inventory.
You’ll create docketing reminders for important dates based on your IP inventory.
Week 9: IPmasterclass what's next
When to seek advice of legal counsel?
I’ll explain when you need to seek the advice of IP counsel.
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