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Protecting your on-line real estate

By David Seitz
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Now that you have an active website and ezine, you should be concerned about protecting it! Let's face it, your website is wide open to anyone with an itchy right clicking finger and an Internet connection.

Protecting your intellectual property and website content is not as difficult as most people think. I imagine you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your website's planning, concept, and creation. Correct? Why not take an extra couple of hours to protect it from all the Internet slime that's waiting around the corner to steal it?

Your first step in your security checklist should be a trip to "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained." You may find many of your questions answered here. (

Once you get the feel for the kind of protection that's readily available to you, it's time to get serious!

All the copyright, patent and trademark information you need can be found through the following resources.

Congressional Web Site
( (

Copyright & Fair Use at the Stanford University Libraries (

Also be sure to visit the World Intellectual Property Organization at: (

Copyright Office

Here is another excellent website on copyrights. I am sure you can dig up trademark and patent info here as well as a ton of other free advice. The name suits the site well: (

Here is a popular patent search system (

You can also contact General Information Services and request the Information Dissemination Organization's US Patent and Trademark Catalog (ask for it by name). This is a free catalog and contains detailed information on all aspects of copyright protection. 1-800-786-9199

You can request trademark and patent sales information from 1-800-972-6382

Take time out today and see what is available to you. Why wait until you are a victim? Take the time to research the above resources. Many people do not realize that the copyright registration fee is only $20. Keep in mind that federal trademark and patent registration fees are much higher, but a copyright may be all that you require to securely document your work.

Federal trademarks can be very expensive, but in some states - Tennessee, for instance - you can register your trademark with the state for as little as $5. This protects you from others within your state stealing your information, and should be done even for company names, logos, slogans, etc. Contact your Secretary of State's office in your state capitol for more information.

The US Patent and Trademark Office placed its trademark database online. Now you can search the database directly at. Do you know how expensive a patent search can be? Do it here free: (

I stress to you once again - DO NOT PUT IT OFF. The longer you wait, the less likely you will be to bother doing it at all. Your copyright registration will be good for many years and only takes a little time to complete.

About the Author
David Seitz - CEO Virtual Imagination Inc. Published by: Virtual Imagination Inc. Brought to you by The Helping Hand Internet Marketing Newsletter. ( grab your free subscription now:


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