Entrepreneur's Survival Guide to Trademarks, Patents, & More

What every entrepreneur needs to know about intellectual property.
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  • Lectures 23
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Trademarks, patents, copyrights and other forms of intellectual property (IP) can mean the difference between life and death for any entrepreneurial exploit. This course is your survival guide. By combining real-life case studies, and quick, practical “How-To” videos, this course will give any aspiring entrepreneur the knowledge they need to ask the right questions and act with confidence.

It covers six different types of IPcopyrights, patents, trademarks, and moreincluding the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of each. All are illustrated with real-life examples, from Google’s decision to patent its pagerank algorithm, to Taco Bell’s costly “crazy chihuahua” settlement.

For any entrepreneur, though, time is money. This course includes straightforward, practical instruction designed to answer questions faced by every entrepreneur on the fly, like how to register a copyright, or use a lab journal to protect an invention.

The course is taught by attorney and Chapman University law Professor Tom W. Bell. Professor Bell earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago, and has practiced law in both Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. He has published papers on copyrights and Internet law, and recently authored “Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good.”

What are the requirements?

  • This course requires no background knowledge of intellectual property law or entrepreneurship--just an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to learn!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Define intellectual property
  • Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of different types of intellectual property
  • Understand how to register different types of intellectual property, and why it might be beneficial to do so
  • Be familiar with significant historical cases in intellectual property law

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is intended for young people with an interest in entrepreneurship. Whether you’re only thinking about starting a business or you already have an idea you want to make a reality, learning the basics of intellectual property will help you protect your ideas and prevent you from infringing on those of others.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Why should entrepreneurs care about intellectual property? In this video, Professor Tom W. Bell shows all the forms of IP present in a simple Coke bottle, and explains how intellectual property can make or break businesses.

3 questions

Get acquainted with the "Map of IP," one of your indispensible guides through the remainder of the course.

Section 2: Ideas

You’ve got a great idea for a business, but you need help to get it off the ground. How can you get your business going, but prevent potential business partners from stealing your idea?

2 questions

Entrepreneurs want to avoid legal trouble--especially legal trouble for taking someone else’s idea. This video explains how to avoid liability for taking someone else’s idea, a $42 million dollar lesson Taco Bell learned the hard way thanks to its “Yo quiero Taco Bell” ads.

3 questions
Section 3: Copyrights

Copyright can make or break your business. With a look at Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s success with Microsoft, this video explores how entrepreneurs can use copyright to protect their ideas.

3 questions

How do you protect your intellectual property when you’re selling your creative talents? This video explains the process of getting a copyright for things like computer programming and animation.

3 questions

Imagine you’re starting a business to connect people with underused hot tubs, to people hoping to party in one. How can copyright help you? This video details what copyright can do for entrepreneurs and some of its limitations, including free speech and “fair use."

3 questions

Remember Napster? This video explores how entrepreneurs might be sued for copyright infringement and the steps they can take to avoid it. Hint: Don’t be Napster.

3 questions

This video explains the importance of registering your copyright, how to register a copyright, and the legal protections you’ll receive.

2 questions

You’re building a revolutionary new app--how can you let people use it, but show that you still own it? Watch and learn how to format copyright notices in order to protect your work.

2 questions
Section 4: Patents

How important are patents for entrepreneurs? For Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, patents helped turn their business from a search engine to a household name--and now, to a verb. Watch and learn what patents are and how entrepreneurs can use them to start successful businesses.

3 questions

You’ve got an invention that you want to patent--deep fried origami pastries--but where do you start? This video explores the many requirements for filing a patent on an invention.

3 questions

Barnes & Noble introduced a simpler system for its online ordering--until it was sued by Amazon for infringing its “1-click shopping” patent. Learn about how difficult it can be to avoid infringement, and how you can make sure you’re in the clear.

2 questions

Sometimes, proving your role in an invention can be as simple as keeping good notes. This video details how using a lab notebook can help entrepreneurs when it is time to register a patent.

2 questions
Section 5: Trademarks and Service Marks

Using the example of Richard Branson’s successful global “Virgin” brand, this video explains why entrepreneurs should care about trademarks and how they can use trademarks to protect and grow their businesses.

3 questions

Imagine you want to trademark the name “On The Fly” for your drone delivery service. How would you do that? Watch to learn how to use different trademark symbols in order to protect your work.

1 question
Section 6: Trade Secrets

What goes in to Google’s “secret sauce”? The parameters for its algorithm and its ability to distinguish sites like Wikipedia from less reputable ones are trade secrets. Explore what trade secrets are and how entrepreneurs can use them to protect the ideas that make their businesses successful.

3 questions

Your startup is growing rapidly--so much so that you have to hire new employees. How can you ensure that these new employees won’t reveal the trade secrets that make you so successful? In this video, we define what non-disclosure agreements are and how they can be used by entrepreneurs to help them protect trade secrets.

1 question
Section 7: Unowned IP

Walt Disney’s use of fairy tales from the public domain has been enormously successful--watch to learn what the public domain is and how entrepreneurs can take advantage of it for their own success. What is the public domain, and how can entrepreneurs use it?

3 questions

How can you use the public domain to grow your business? Watch to learn how entrepreneurs can use public domain materials in their own businesses.

1 question
Section 8: Conclusion

We call it intellectual property--but is it? Professor Tom Bell explores the idea of intellectual property as “intellectual privilege” and highlights some of the problems of the current intellectual property system. Professor Bell calls for a fresh perspective on copyright law and predicts that the future need for current copyright protections will be greatly diminished.


What have you learned about intellectual property from this course? This video summarizes the highlights of the course and the main takeaways about intellectual property and entrepreneurship.

Section 9: Additional Content

In this special Live! session recording from December, 2014, hosted by Learn Liberty, Professor Tom W. Bell answers questions from Udemy students on entrepreneurship and intellectual property.

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Instructor Biography

Prof. Tom W. Bell, Law Professor and Attorney

Professor Tom W. Bell earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1993, practiced law in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and served as a policy director at the Cato Institute before joining Chapman University, Fowler School of Law, in 1998. He has published papers on copyrights, Internet law, polycentric law and consent theory, prediction markets, and the Third Amendment. Bell recently authored “Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good” (Mercatus 2014). He teaches all of the first-year common law courses and many electives. Bell’s clients include law schools trying to master the U.S. News & World Report rankings, who hire him for statistical analysis, and companies in the startup cities industry, who have him design legal systems.

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