I would like to know how to protect my coaching programs. If my client is currently enrolled in a program that I have created and intends to coach others with what she is learning from me, what can I do about that? I don't want my materials that I worked so hard to create to be used by my clients so they can coach others. What about copyrights? I haven't protected any of the materials legally but on each handout and the workbook that I am offering it says "copyright...". Asking for advise how to protect my coaching program. In addition, I am creating an online course based on this program and would like to know how I can best protect my idea and programs? Do I need to Trademark it? Thank you!
This is really a question for your attorney but a quick (layman's) answer is that today's copyright protections cover writers almost automatically once you complete and publish your works (research this online). Here is one source of info:
Trademarks are more related product and service names rather than content and must be applied for.
Sorry I can't be more comprehensive.
One thing I'm sure of is that you have to proactively defend your intellectual property rights. No one is going to do this for you. So if you see someone stealing your work it is your responsibility to notify or prosecute them.
It's a short answer- that's not your money.
Don't focus your energy towards someone else selling in your space--- the truth is -- your market is big enough and talent rises to the top ( no one can replace your unique style & results!)
I want people to rip me off-- I feel strongly enough that I can go back into the lab and create!
Wish them well & focus on deliberate creation.
It is your money because their sales are being made from your intellectual property. 1. You will lose significant income if you don't protect your intellectual property through an IP attorney. Spend the money. Keep your program online only - no handouts or downloads. Require a log-in for each client. Create a business development (my specialty) program that enables other coaches to use your course work - but their clients must use your materials on-line only. If you need a hand at structuring the pitch to boost business development income, I can help with that.
The short answer is you can't. There's really nothing proprietary about what your doing. Short of your clients copying word for word documents, books, advice that you offer, there's nothing stopping them from taking what they learned from you and using that to setup their own business. Heck, depending upon the type of coaching your offering it could even be a scenario where you're teaching people how to get started in the same business as you and then getting upset when they actually follow through and do so.
I would suggest not worrying too much about your competition and focusing on the value that you add. There's only one you, only you have your knowledge and experiences. Use that and quit worrying about what others are doing.
Now if someone is copying materials you hand out that is something you could pursue, although you're likely not going to sue anyone for anything, it's more a hey quit doing that type of letter your attourney can draft for you.