Business of VO: Copyright, Trademarks & More

It’s only taken three years but VO Boss is happy to announce our first recurring guest, Rob Sciglimpaglia. When it comes to legal matters in voiceover, Rob wrote the book. He’s an expert on all things Voiceover Legal and with a multitude of recent infringements (including VO BOSS!) taking place, plus confusion over usage rights, we asked him back to join us once again and share his wealth of knowledge.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Anne had employed Rob many times to deal with Trade Mark infringements and Trade Mark registration.

  2. Trademarks protect you, your name, your brand, and possibly also your images or logos from being used improperly or without permission.

  3. There are both state and federal TM processes and requirements that can take some time to complete.

  4. You can register yourself but it is wise to have an attorney do it for you.

  5. Prior to filing, you want to search the databases of applied and granted trademarks.

  6. An attorney can also aid you in negotiating with a company who disputes you and better understand the process.

  7. You must send a ‘specimen’ that proves the use of your mark in business.

  8. It’s shocking how many people don’t properly research their branding & naming decisions for a new company to make sure they are not breaking the law.

  9. Cease & desist letters are a courtesy and usually a way to avoid having to go to court when no damages have taken place yet.

  10. There are many ‘classes’ under which you can file a TM.

  11. TMs are good for 10 years. But you must show proof of use at 5 years.

  12. The internet is creating a culture of theft that many people believe is acceptable.

  13. Voiceover actors are subject to identity, intellectual property, and fraud theft.

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Share ideas with your own network ++

If I don’t take the steps to legally protect my business, who will? #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

It’s amazing how many people are infringing on the copyrights of others. #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

Flattery or thievery? If you didn’t ask permission, it’s the later. #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Read more about Rob

  2. Get $5 off  Rob’s book Voiceover Legal with promo code ANG

  3. Check out our previous episode with Rob

  4. Learn more about the US Government Trademark Office

  5. Recorded on ipDTL

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Hey, welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Gabby, today we’ve our very first repeat guest.

Gabby: Only took us three years.

Anne: [laughs] Voice actor, actor, baseball coach [laughs] and lawyer, Rob Sciglimpaglia.

Rob: Thank you for having me. I’m honored. I didn’t know I was the first repeat guest. That’s awesome.

Anne: Well Rob, we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about today. [laughs]

Gabby: Yeah, there’s been a couple of different instances these last few weeks, and Anne and I have really been wanting to do an episode about it. And I kept saying, “you know, here’s the thing. I’d love to talk about it, but we really, really need to bring in an expert, and I’m pretty sure we both know who it is,” and we’ve been holding off on recording this until you were available.

Anne: For sure. So back in, oh my gosh, I think it was July of 2018, I approached you because I had been alerted to something on a Facebook group that somebody was using a domain that was very, very close to VO Peeps to set up a site to solicit for bu