Want others to promote your brand but don’t want to HURT your intellectual property rights?

Here are some pointers when allowing people outside your company to use your logo to promote you:

1️⃣ Get a trademark license agreement in place to avoid eroding your legal rights in your logo.

2️⃣ Draft the license as narrowly as possible. For example, limit use to just their website or certain pre-approved marketing materials.

3️⃣ Make sure they have to get it pre-approved by you before they can use your logo anywhere. This should be in your license agreement.

4️⃣ Keep the ability to end the license at any time for any reason. This right should also be in your license agreement.

✔️Other considerations:

▶️ You invested in your intellectual property, brand, and reputation. While you want to get your name out there, it’s important to maintain control over when and how your logo is used.

▶️ Allowing others to use your logo without written permission can hurt your ability to stop people who are misusing your logo down the road.

Need a trademark license agreement? Send me a message!

Are you spending too much time in Meetings?

One study shows that 15%+ of a person’s job satisfaction is based on how satisfied they are with their work meetings!

5 tips to improve your work productivity and happiness

1️⃣ Look at your calendar with the intent to delete all of your meetings. Ask yourself why you need to keep any of them. Only keep the meetings that would be the best and highest use of your time. Cancel or decline the others and see if you’re more productive.

2️⃣ Try shortening your meetings by 15 minutes each week until you get the best length.

3️⃣ Have a clear purpose and agenda for all meetings or ask for these before you accept a meeting. If the meeting is not the best use of your time then consider declining the meeting.

4️⃣ Do you have daily/weekly/monthly recurring meetings? Try cancelling them and only scheduling those meetings when they are most valuable. Try sharing info via Microsoft Teams, productivity apps like Monday.com, or a shared google doc instead.

5️⃣ Be ok with not being at meetings. Feel confident in your decision to be productive in other ways.

Want more tips? Read “Joy At Work” by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein.

Need an efficient business lawyer? Schedule a free 15 min consult with me!

Does your business use a negative option billing model? Here are 3 key requirements you need to follow.

📖 Negative option billing models – while there are various types, these models typically have a term or condition under which the business may interpret the consumer’s inaction to cancel an agreement or refuse a good or service as acceptance of their offer, including the continuation of the offer
– Some common types: automatic renewal, continuity plans, free-to-pay conversions 

💥📝 In response to an increase in complaints about unauthorized charges and difficult cancellation processes, the FTC recently issued a new enforcement policy statement warning companies that they’ll face legal action if they don’t meet these 3 requirements

📚 Summary of the 3 Key Requirements

1️⃣ Provide clear and upfront disclosures of all material terms of the product/service
✔️ Information about the product/service needed to prevent deception about the characteristics of product/service
✔️ Price increase following the end of the trial period and, if applicable, recurring charges unless consumer takes timely actions
✔️ Price to be billed and frequency of billing
✔️ Deadlines by which the consumer must act to stop charges
✔️ Date(s) each charge is submitted for payment
✔️ How to cancel
✔️ Disclosures must be easily noticeable, easy to understand, and not contain any additional information that undermines the consumer’s ability to understand the disclosures 

2️⃣ Receive consumer’s affirmative consent
✔️ Obtain consumer’s acceptance of the negative option feature separately from any other portion of the entire transaction
✔️ Not contain any additional information that undermines the consumer’s ability to provide expressed informed consent

3️⃣ Offer a simple and easy cancellation method
✔️ Provide cancellation method through the same medium and at least as easy as the method used to buy the product/service
✔️ Do not subject consumers to new offers or impose unreasonable delays to the consumer’s cancellation efforts

🎯 Contact me if you need help making sure your business’s marketing is under compliance with the law!

5 Changes You Need to Know About Mastercard’s New Requirements for Merchants Using a Subscription or Negative Option Billing Model

In an effort to reduce complaints and chargebacks from consumers and stay up to date with federal and state laws, Mastercard’s new requirements focus on point of payment disclosures with an extra set of requirements for negative options.

📅Key dates to know:
📌September 22, 2022: New point of payment disclosure requirements in effect 
📌March 22, 2022: All other requirements in effect 

📚 Quick Summary of Rule Changes for Merchants:

1️⃣ Point of Payment Disclosures
✔️Subscription/Recurring Billing Models 
・Must disclose subscription terms, including price and frequency of billing, and receive affirmative consent of terms
✔️Negative Option Billing Model
・Must disclose the terms and length of the trial period, including any initial charges, and the price and frequency of the following subscription. 
・Disclosures must be on the same screen as the order summary or where consumers enter their card information
・What is not accepted: requiring consumers to click on a link, scroll down the page, or expand a message box to see the terms

2️⃣ Enrollment Confirmation
・Must send a confirmation of enrollment to the consumer’s email or any other electronic method immediately following enrollment
・Confirmation must include the terms of subscription, the terms of a trial (if applicable), and clear instructions on how to cancel the subscription

3️⃣ Receipts
・Must send a receipt after each subscription billing by email or any other electronic method and include clear instructions on how to cancel the subscription

4️⃣ Reminders
✔️Negative Option Billing Model or Subscription/Recurring Billing Models with 6 Month+ Billing Periods
・Must send subscription reminders to consumers by email or any other electronic method between three and seven days before the card is automatically charged
・Notifications must contain the basic terms of the subscription and instructions on how to cancel the subscription prior to each billing date
✔️Additional Requirement for Negative Option Billing Model 
・Must send notifications prior to automatic enrollment in the full plan, inform the consumer that the subscription plan will begin at the end of the trial period unless canceled before the stated date, contain the basic terms of subscription, and instructions on how to cancel the subscription
・Note: Does not apply to high-risk negative option billing merchants offering a trial of a physical good that automatically enrolls consumer into a subscription plan following the end of the trial period 

5️⃣ Electronic Cancellation Method
・Must provide a simple and easy online or electronic cancellation method to subscribers 

🎯 Contact me if you need help with your disclosure, receipt, notification, and cancellation policies!

Here are 5 tips to attract more business.

Grow your business with niche marketing using these helpful tips.
1️⃣ Find what you can offer, what pain you can solve
Go deeper. Become an expert in your area.
2️⃣ Find out where you can stand out
If your area of expertise is saturated in your region, consider events elsewhere to expand your network.
3️⃣ Build trust and true relationships by being honest, ethical, and caring
Find your ideal client and stick with it. Sometimes that means passing on business that doesn’t fit to maximize performance and satisfaction.
4️⃣ Make small tests in the market
See what works and doesn’t work before you invest more resources.
5️⃣ Keep in touch
Do everything you can to keep in touch with the connections you make. Consider email blasts, connecting on social media platforms, and reaching out when you’re in the same area.
Follow for more helpful tips!

Do you provide a warranty for a consumer product or a combination sale of a product and service? Here are 3 essential rules to keep in mind.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the Act) sets specific requirements for the warrantor of consumer products and combination sales of a product and service when providing a written warranty. Here are the basics you need to know.
1️⃣ Disclosure Rule
✔️ All consumer product warranties must be titled “full” or “limited”
✔️ Limited warranties must be made available in a single, clear, easy-to-read document

2️⃣ Pre-sale Availability Rule
✔️ The warrantor and seller must ensure that warranties are available wherever consumer products are sold, with the exception of products that retail for $15.00 or less
3️⃣ Dispute Resolution Rule
✔️ Makes it easier for consumers to take a company to court
✔️ Creates a framework for companies to set up procedures for resolving disputes informally and with minimal expense

📚 The Act also prohibits specific types of conduct
❌ You are not allowed to disclaim or modify implied warranties, such as the warranty of merchantability, during the term of your express warranty or condition warranty service on registration or return of warranty card
❌ You are not allowed to include a tie-in sales provision in your warranty, which ties your warranty coverage to the use of the warrantor’s parts or service providers 
📚 State specific warranty laws
✔️ Some states have warranty laws applicable to specific types of products, such as cars or recreational vehicles, and are intended to provide additional protections to the buyer
✔️ Some states have laws specifically applicable to extended warranties or service contracts and are more of a form of insurance
✔️ Check your state for more information! California’s Song-Beverly Act is the strictest state warranty law in America with numerous requirements

Need more guidance on business laws? Message me to learn more about my services that can help you build your business!

Are you selling a product to American consumers? Does it comply with product safety laws and standards? Here are 5 tips.

Be in the know and make sure your product is safe and compliant with these helpful tips.
1️⃣ If you make consumer products, register your company on www.saferproducts.gov
✔️Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports consumer incidents on this public database website, so when you register, your company can receive reports or notices when an incident has been reported, including who filed the complaint. 
✔️This is important because the CPCS has the authority to ban products deemed dangerous, pursue recalls, and impose significant civil monetary penalties on companies that fail to report violations, such as product defects and safety incidents, in a timely manner. 
2️⃣ What are the typical violations reported?
✔️Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires mandatory reporting on any product within its jurisdiction that 
・fails to comply with product safety standards, rules, regulations, or ban
・substantial risk of injury to consumers
・creates unreasonable risk of serious injury or death
3️⃣ Anyone in the distribution chain, such as the manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer, has a legal obligation to report any violations
✔️While manufacturers have more information and a higher duty to report violations, retailers also have an obligation to report any information that indicates a problem with a product they have sold. 
✔️The CPSA states that you must report “immediately” (within 24 hours) upon receiving information that reasonably supports the conclusion of a failure to comply with product safety standards. 
✔️The affected party has reasonable time (generally 7-10 days) to investigate the claim and determine if the information is valid and should be reported. Failure to report in a timely manner can result in significant civil monetary penalties and increased compliance requirements.
4️⃣ How do you fulfill your duty to report a violation as a retailer or distributor?
✔️There are two ways. 1) File a section 15(b) report. 2) Write a letter to the manufacturer or importer, saying you have received these reports of product incidents or defects that need to be addressed. Send a copy of the letter to the CSPA.
5️⃣ Don’t know if a product you’re manufacturing or importing complies with product safety law and standards?
✔️CPSC’s Regulatory Robot (a series of questions) will guide you through important product safety requirements that can be reviewed prior to production or import to ensure your product is safe and compliant for American consumers.

Need a business lawyer to help you make sure your marketing materials are consistent with the law? Message me!

Does your business provide subscription services in California? New changes to California’s Automatic Renewal Law for Subscription Merchants will be in effect in July 2022.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation earlier this month to protect consumers and increase transparency. So what does this mean? Here is a quick breakdown.

New notice requirements:

1️⃣ For free trials and promotional periods longer than 31 days
・When a consumer accepts a free gift or trial lasting more than 31 days that turns into an automatic renewing offer (“free gift” excludes a free promotional item or gift different from the subscribed product) OR accepts a promotional or discounted price for an automatically renewing offer in which the promotional period lasts more than 31 days
➡️Notice for an upcoming automatic renewal is required at least 3 days before renewal and up to 21 days before the promotion ends

2️⃣ For offers with an initial term of 1 year or longer
・When a consumer accepts an offer where the initial term is 1 year or longer and automatically continues until the consumer cancels
➡️Notice for an upcoming automatic renewal is required at least 15 days before renewal and up to 45 days before automatic renewal offer renews

📝The notice must clearly and visibly state 
1) that the automatic renewal or continuous service will automatically renew unless the consumer cancels
2) at least one cancellation method
3) for electronically sent notices, a direct link to the cancellation process or an accessible electronic method to direct the consumer to the cancellation process if a link doesn’t exist
4) length of service and additional terms of the renewal period 
5) business contact information

New cancellation requirements:

1️⃣ Merchant must provide an online cancellation process that doesn’t “obstruct or delay the consumer’s ability to terminate the automatic renewal or continuous service immediately.” 

2️⃣ Method of cancellation must be provided in one of the formats below:
・A direct link or button prominently located in the consumer’s account, profile, device, or user settings
・An immediately accessible termination email provided by the business in which a consumer can send to the business without additional information

*Businesses may require account authentication prior to cancellation, but they must also permit consumers to cancel offline, such as a toll-free number, should the consumer be unable or unwilling to authenticate their account.

Need a savvy lawyer to help you make sure your marketing materials are consistent with the law? Message me!

Want to grow your business and build credibility? Here are 4 tips.

Leverage your opportunities to grow your business with these helpful tips.

1️⃣ Ongoing education ➡️ improves business development
✔️ Develop and prove your skills to keep you sharp and relevant
✔️ Gain more confidence in areas of interest
✔️ Helps you become an expert in your field

2️⃣ Community engagement ➡️ builds your personal brand
✔️ Show up with the same business values you have when serving
✔️ Increases visibility in an authentic way
✔️ Strengthens your network

3️⃣ Leadership in a professional organization ➡️ strengthens your credibility
✔️ Pick a few organizations where you can go deep, be active, and serve
✔️ Increases visibility, credibility, and potential for referrals
✔️ Enhances knowledge with further education and peer conversations

4️⃣ Speaking opportunities ➡️ increase your authority
✔️ Ask to be in a speaking rotation in your organizations
✔️ Opportunity to deliver your message from a place of authority and connect with people
✔️ Catapults you in your group and externally when used in your business marketing

Pro Tip: For best results, be as active as possible in your community

Follow for more helpful tips!

Want to build your book of business? Here are 2 effective LinkedIn tips.

Set yourself up for success through leveraging Linkedin with these helpful tips.

1️⃣ Build connections by treating Linkedin as a virtual live networking event

1. Optimize your profile
✔️ Use your headline to share what you do, whom you work with, and a result your target audience can expect from working with you
✔️ Write in 1st person and format your profile to appeal to your target audience
2. Look for people who are good potential clients or strong referral partners
3. Introduce yourself with a connection request
✔️ Goal is to build relationships, so don’t go straight into a sales pitch

2️⃣ Increase exposure by engaging with your target audience

1. Go down newsfeed and look for posts that resonate with your target market
2. Comment on those posts with a specific point you liked or learned
3. Write posts that add value for your target audience
4. Make an influencer list (20 people) who have a big following in your market and make a point to comment and engage with them
✔️ Keep this to 15 minutes/day to stay focused
✔️ You can have someone write your posts to save time, but write your own comments

Follow for more helpful tips!


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