You stole my idea…
This is a conversation with no end. You have to be careful who you work with, but before the work begins, you have to be careful who you share and brainstorm with as well.
In some cases with popular words and phrases, I don’t know if it is an attempt to steal an idea – but, that two people have the same idea and one moves faster. Today, when you put an idea out there you have to be ready to move with it. I follow a business called Fck Being Fat Fitness and we featured their creator in our Anniversary Issue. I mention her because I remember when I first started following her, she talked about a friend telling her to trademark her work before she printed anything. While I am very aware that people will try anything it didn’t really dawn on me that someone would try to make their own shirt, until… I wore my shirt to a training session, recently, and one of my training partners asked about where I got it. I told her where and then told her about how she only drops her apparel once a month and we had just missed the last one. One of the next things she said was, “well can’t I just go get a shirt made with that on there?” The business person in me instantly said ‘NO’. While everyone around me gave me that, ‘it’s not that serious face’, my next statement was “that’s copyright infringement and she will come after you.” The conversation pretty much ended there.
I used that story to show that people do things for various reasons. In this case, I believe the mere thought came from impatience. In no way do I think it was meant to be malicious, but things will snowball and the next thing you know you could have a ton of counterfeit shirts, out there. You are affecting that person’s integrity. The quality and everything associated with that person’s brand is tied to any item that has their information on it. That is why people are so protective over it.
In addition to that, you also have a ton of phrases that have never been trademarked but show up on shirts everywhere. How do you know which is which? My practice is, that if it is something that comes from a small business – that I get it from them or I don’t get it at all.
You also have true coincidences. I believe that when there are two people in the same industry that don’t communicate with one another, that you will, on occasion, get the same idea brewing. Especially if it is an idea that will fix problems within the industry. That is what entrepreneurs are built on, creating a solution and/ or filling a void.
Catchy phrases! These are things you have to register QUICKLY! The moment you say it out-loud, it will catch on. The movement will take off and possibly leave you behind. It’s just that simple! Don’t put something out there without securing your rights to it and then get mad when someone else makes that move. It may be shady but it’s reality!
It may sound controlling to those who are not in business for themselves but the smallest thing can make a difference. You must control everything that goes out about your brand. The worse thing to see is when someone misspells your brand, especially when they are associated with the brand. For some reason, everyone initially wants to make it ‘Ambitious Magazine’; not a bad name, but it is not the name of the magazine. The magazine is Ambition, and our: readers, employees and followers are ambitious. Making that small change can be the difference between 2 brands.
Have you experienced having an idea stolen or have you been accused of stealing an idea?