But I Didn’t Know

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.  This is a tough lesson to learn for many small business owners.

Similarly, a company can accuse you of infringing their rights even if you’ve never heard of them.

When I worked for large law firms, I frequently reached out to owners of a #smallbusiness to let them know that they were infringing my client’s #brand.  The excuses I heard from #entrepreneurs included:
– But I never heard of your client
– I didn’t know that I couldn’t use your client’s name
– But that is my last name
– The 1st amendment lets me use any name I want
– My Secretary of State approved my name
– The IRS approved that name
– I came up with my name all on my own
– I own the domain name for that brand name
– But I really like my name
– I paid a fancy marketing agency to come up with my name
– etc.


I insisted that these small businesses respect my clients’ intellectual property rights.  After all, it wasn’t my clients’ fault that these SMBs did not understand this area of the law. 

– I do have a heart
– I did feel bad for these SMBs
– I did feel more kinship with these SMBs than with my large company clients
– I did make a change to help these companies

I jumped from the dark side.  I established a firm whose PURPOSE is to help the SMBs reduce liability and increase rights related to the brands that they use.

One way I do this is to EDUCATE.  I post online multiple times each week.  I attend networking meetings on a regular basis.  I want to get the word out to SMBs.

Another thing I do is offer services that SMBs can afford and offer them in a way that they can understand.

In the next post I’ll cover why you don’t want to be an infringer, and then I’ll discuss my primary services that help SMBs.