A Free Guide to Protecting the IP in Your Course or Digital Product

Entrepreneurs can benefit from legal protection, especially online. When you’re creating content and building online brands, part of your job becomes protecting those assets, too. This short guide helps you protect your business IP while developing your brand while selling services, courses or digital products.

What is IP and Why Protect It?

Intellectual Property (IP) includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Protecting your IP ensures your hard work and creativity remain yours, preventing others from profiting from your efforts.

Most entrepreneurs who sell services or digital products will want to get familiar with trademarks and copyrights, as these legal assets include your brand identifiers (company name, logo, slogan, etc.) and the content you’re creating (visual, audio, and/or written).

The Mindset That Helps You Protect Your Business IP

Recognize your work’s value. You’re investing tons of time, energy, and possibly even money to create and develop these digital and intellectual property assets. Doesn’t it only make sense that you protect them, too? Invest in legal protections like rock-solid written contracts and policies to safeguard your unique contributions.

What Do Online Entrepreneurs Have to Protect?

Every program, digital product or course contains IP. Your intellectual property is your digital gold. Protect it from being unlawfully shared, repackaged or re-sold by clearly defining usage rules for your customers in your terms & conditions.

Understanding Your Boundaries

The wonderful thing is that you have total control over how these boundaries are set. It’s just up to you to put them in writing and make sure your customers or clients are clear on them, too.

Set clear boundaries for how your content can be used in your website terms of use, client contracts and online course terms. Just as you respect physical property, your digital content is deserving of the same respect.

How to Protect Your Business IP

Don’t Infringe

Avoid using others’ IP without permission. Conduct a trademark clearance search before using new business names or logos. Register trademarks with the USPTO for exclusive rights.

Protect Your Business IP Among Your Customers & Audience

Use written contracts to set boundaries with customers, specifying terms like access length and refund policies. Publicly shared content should include copyright notices and terms of use.

Bonus Pro Tips

  • Use a copyright notice using the (c) symbol and specify the terms of use viewers/students/clients have access to as a paying or free user.
  • Use ™ before registering trademarks and ® after.
  • Add terms and conditions to your website for legal protection of your brand and content.


Legally establishing your business might seem daunting, but it’s worth the effort. Protect your digital products and courses using our attorney-created contract templates to stay Protected & Profitable™.

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Guide to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now!

*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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