The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Mary Juetten

Mary is Traklight's very excitable CEO who has the energy of everyone combined. To give you a taste of that energy, Mary, who already had her CA and CPA, developed the idea for Traklight while earring her JD. She has leveraged her 25+ years of business experience to launch Traklight from an idea to a global business in less than three years. Simultaneously, she is an active contributor, speaker, and expert in the areas of entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, advancement of women in the workforce, and (of course) intellectual property. And she does all this while raising teenagers (we're exhausted from just writing this). Meanwhile, Mary is flying around North America (on Southwest as much as possible!) spreading the good word of Traklight. Phew.
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Recent Posts

Innovation Myths Debunked

In the first part of our innovation series, we examined the concept of capturing, leveraging, and growing intangible assets for small and medium sized businesses. We care about innovation as it is at least eighty percent of your company’s value — more if you are a startup.

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Capture. Leverage. Grow.

We have written here extensively about how startups and early-stage businesses face an overwhelming number of tasks to get the ball rolling. The bad news is that those tasks do not go away once your company graduates to becoming a small or medium sized business (SMB).

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Practice Safe Crowdfunding, Part II: Picking a Platform

In the summer of 2012, I was listening to a webinar on crowdfunding presented by then 85 Broads, now Ellevate.com.  The presenter, Candace Klein, was one of the driving forces behind the Jumpstart our Business Startups  (JOBS) Act passed in April of the same year.  Of course, my first concern was for the impact on intellectual property when disclosing a full business plan and product information online. 

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#phxfff Inaugural Female Founders' Forum

The most exciting thing to me about last night’s event was the location. While the Pig’s Meow was a wonderful place to be, I was excited by the fact our event was in Phoenix! I was so inspired by the room full of about forty female founders.

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Avoiding Overwhelming Startup Issues

Most businesses start with a single great idea. If you've had a brainstorm that seems like it might be a viable business opportunity, you are probably eager to get moving. As exciting as the opportunity seems, you might be overwhelmed by planning process. There are a few things that you can do to avoid overwhelming startup issues and make sure that your business starts off on the right foot. 

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5 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make When Starting Up

As we have written about before, for many businesses, especially startups, intellectual property (IP) is their most valuable asset. If your company has created a unique product, technology, or service, protecting the intellectual property you have developed is paramount to your success. Both the company's founders and investors must ensure all IP is first identified and then protected through agreements and registration, while also avoiding infringing on the intellectual property of third parties.

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How Could 64% of Businesses Neglect This One Valuable Asset?!

If you've just opened a new business, this question perhaps hasn't crossed your mind yet: Is IP part of your business's foundation? In order to answer, you might wish to understand your intellectual property (IP) and how it factors into making any money. But before you do that, statistics tell us you probably aren't paying enough attention to how important your IP is. Some small businesses do not fully comprehend the importance of what IP does for them and that is the crucial mistake they are making.

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Introducing the TAG: Traklight Assessment Grade

 

You asked and we answered

During our years of working with entrepreneurs, the idea of a Traklight stamp or score has been raised numerous times. While the reports are informative with detailed information on next steps, we all like a quick, single measure that tells us how we're doing. Since we relaunched the platform last spring, we have been working hard to create an easy-to-read visual representation of your business' planning and preparedness, as well as helping to lay out a road map to future success. We're proud to say that the Risk Chart now provides that road map, and we leveraged that to create the Traklight Assessment Grade (TAG).

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Network Marketing Female Entrepreneurs: What is IP for a Solopreneur?

Women make up 82 percent of network marketers due to their many awesome abilities. Those amazing capabilities, however, also put women at risk of being ripped off. Let’s say a woman has created a jammin’ anti-aging skin cream with a proprietary blend of herbs. She tests in on herself for two years and then waits another year to see if any side effects happen. She has pictures of her progress and vines of people congratulating her. She contacted Washington, D.C. for a trademark on her product which she calls WhatAge? A trademark is an intangible asset; it isn't physical meaning it can't be touched, but it protects which makes it an asset.

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Time Is Money: Startups Race Too Fast

As a startup, you may have limited resources; if you do not, great for you! However, it does not change the approach to your startup from the beginning. Planning and being methodical about your first business steps may seem counterintuitive to what you hear about the startup world. Often the end goal for startups is to exit for the most money possible and there is a sense that it is a rush to the end. While time is money, you cannot inexpensively undo mistakes that are made at the outset.

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3 Effective Ways to Safeguard Your Ideas

How to safeguard your ideas or inventions is an important concern for many first time inventors or entrepreneurs. A small business, especially one that is looking to grow, has a lot to consider as they move through the winding roads of business success. Often times, small business owners are concerned about whether or not their innovation or IP can be lost.

While the number of ideas that are legitimately stolen is relatively low, it isn’t an unheard of scenario considering IP theft in the US tops $250 billion annually. Each year, hundreds of cases regarding patent, copyright or trademark infringement are heard in US courts. With this in mind, many business owners might wonder what they can do to protect themselves, especially when a small business is in a delicate growth phrase. We’ve collected three easy ways to safeguard a small business’ innovation.

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What's Hindering US Small Businesses from Protecting Their IP?

It’s a common belief that small businesses are the main driver of the US economy. This is because their ability to create new jobs is greater than that of middle and large-sized companies. So what is really keeping them from protecting their intellectual property? While the federal government has implemented a number of measures to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business, it hasn’t really done much to educate them on the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection or the value of intangible assets. Below are a few IP-related challenges that US small businesses face today.

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If My Intellectual Property Is Stolen Overseas, What Happens Next?

Intellectual property (IP) theft is a rampant issue that affects all companies conducting business overseas. Although you can obtain IP protection outside the US, business owners should always be on the lookout to ensure no one is using their brands or products without proper permission. Infringers often take advantage of the vulnerability and lack of emphasis on IP protection by US startups to make money illegally. This article addresses a question many business owners ask when dealing with IP theft or infringement: "What should I do if my IP is stolen?"

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Worst IP Mistakes in 2014, Part 3

As we start 2015, this the final of three posts (read Part 2 here) on the worst mistakes I have seen made in 2014.  Of course there is the usual tie to intellectual property (IP) and money or valuation of the venture.


Misunderstanding and waiting on patents

Does this sound familiar: "Get that minimum viable product out there in the hands of customers! Hurry up and finish that prototype! Get that crowdfunding campaign up!" Speed to market is often heralded as paramount. However, showing too much about how your product works in a public way can drastically impact your ability to patent. In turn, it could become an IP mistake you wish you wouldn't have made. 

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Worst IP Mistakes in 2014, Part 2

This is the second of three posts (read Part 1 here) on the Worst IP Mistakes made in 2014 by some companies we spoke with last year.


I have written on this before but multiple questions about using open source code keep coming up with clients and in presentation question and answer. A couple of concepts are involved but at the root is copyright and the related licensing terms and conditions.

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