THE NEXT BIG DREAM: Millions Will Compete & Millions Will Win...Millions

Mommy Millionaire

Kim Lavine has transformed the lives of millions through appearances on the Today Show, Rachel Ray, GMA, NBC, ABC, CNN, CNBC, FOX, NPR, Oprah & Friends & features in USA Today, Guideposts, Inc, Business Week, Entrepreneur, and Forbes, to name a few. Her startup bible MOMMY MILLIONAIRE was called by Publishers Weekly “A top-notch how-to guide on launching a business…a rare gem.”

Read more in the newly updated Platinum Version of MOMMY MILLIONAIRE Available for immediate download by eBook or PDF. Filled with all kinds of bonus materials including document templates, updated tips and the real skinny on what went down since I wrote this book.

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Kim Lavine's Media Highlights
Kim Lavine's TV Highlights
Kim Lavine
Listen as I tell you a story, of history being made...

Kim is on a mission to inspire people to follow their dreams, empowering them with hope, honesty and faith.

Identified as America’s Expert on Inspirational Business Advice, Kim touches and inspires millions around the world through her appearances on The Today Show, Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, NBC & ABC news, CNN, CNBC, FOX, NPR, Oprah & Friends Radio Network, and features in USA Today, Country Living, Guideposts, Inc, Business Week, Entrepreneur, Women's World, and American Baby to name a few. Read More...

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Kim Lavine's Print Highlights
« Need a website? Start here: | Main | Patent 101: How to Protect Your Million Dollar Idea »

Your IP is Worth Millions - Protect It

by Kim Lavine

My designer saw money—lots of money—and decided he wanted a share of his own. Money didn’t change me, because I was working so hard to pay all the bills while using what capital I had to fund my growth, but it sure changed everyone around me.

He wanted to be a part of my forward movement. He had started to show up at my kiosks, taking unauthorized pictures of them and my employees. I had asked him to help me redesign my website, giving him a nice down payment, and he delivered his first sub-par work, demanding full payment on the balance outstanding--$10,000--without even working with me to fix what was wrong.

He started on work I hadn’t authorized and I asked him to stop. He started calling me twenty times a day, demanding that I pay him in full for the web design he hadn’t even done.

How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

I called the first attorney I had ever met with, because I didn’t know anybody else at this time who did general law. He was what I call a “bulldog,” gruff and aggressive. If anybody could stop the harassment with one phone call, he could.

Using Independent Contractors

The designer now claimed that he owned every bit of collateral he had ever made for me, including my trademark Wuvit, because he had copyrighted everything in his name when he made it.

This is an excellent illustration of why you need to execute a contract prior to working with any designer stating that all materials they produce for you are your property exclusively, and a Purchase Order is that contract.

Even though I had such an agreement with him, he threatened to steal all my intellectual property and end my ability to do business. I had just made a lot of money and this designer was telling me I would never be able to make it again, because he owned everything. My attorney attempted to contact him, then he proceeded to email my attorney twenty times a day, and my attorney was billing me for this. I asked my attorney to stop talking to him, to talk directly instead to the designer’s attorney, but he refused. Finally the attorney quit, accusing me of micro-managing him, then sent me an astronomical bill wrapped in a thirty-six page email sent by the designer. The whole fiasco eventually ended up in Small Claims Court, where the case brought against me was dismissed as baseless.

Nothing can stop people from bothering you with nuisance lawsuits. Still, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself legally right at the beginning of a professional relationship.


Read more in the newly updated Platinum Version MOMMY MILLIONAIRE Available for immediate download by eBook or PDF. Filled with all kinds of bonus materials including document templates, updated tips and the real skinny on what went down since I wrote this book.

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Reader Comments (1)

Agreements are important. As a designer who has been stiffed, I understand his position. People have little respect for design work. Truth is, unless specified, the laws say artwork automatically belongs to the artist and can only be licensed. So your designer is correct. For so many years I had been underpaid, if paid at all, and it is gratifying to know the law protects IP property of the creator.
The lesson on both sides is to discuss and make clear the details.

June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
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