Home – New Forums Starting your journey Confidentiality surrounding ideas?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #968469
    Gelf
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,

    Hoping to get some advice and don’t know if I’m being paranoid…:-)

    Am in the planning stages of starting a business with my husband. We will (eventually) be pitching to some big businesses, and we wondered what protection (if any) there is for our idea in this process. What I mean is, what’s to stop Company X hearing our pitch, saying no, and then launching it themselves (ie, they’d probably have the money/skills to get it moving quicker than us)? It’s not an invention or anything, so not “patentable” but we thought maybe a confidentiality agreement? Or will they be put off by that? Is it a little OTT? Any advice much appreciated!

    PS Any advice on pitching to big business also appreciated – we’re definitely novices!

    #1033376
    shooshi
    Member
    • Total posts: 10
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Gelf

    Im wondering the same thing and am awaiting a good reply (im also a novice)

    One thing I do know is that when you arrange an interview with a big company, somehow document it ie date, time, who with, topics discussed.

    that way if they do pinch your idea they cannot create plausible deniability!!

    #1033377
    King
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,212
    Up
    0
    ::

    If you search the forum there is a thread recently about this.

    Essentially you need to trademark/patent or at minimum have a confidentiality document they must sign.

    #1033378
    Government Grant Guru
    Member
    • Total posts: 42
    Up
    0
    ::

    The most common way is with a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). But, generally ideas cannot be protected. Any half decent company wouldnt sign one anyway.

    If the company can do it with out you then what are you really offering?

    The skill with any business is in the execution not in the idea stage. Maybe you could progress further with your idea before pitching to them.

    #1033379
    Steven Hudson
    Member
    • Total posts: 122
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hello Gelf

    You maybe surprised how slow big business can be when it comes to new idea’s and product creation. So I wouldn’t really be too worried about this if it is holding you back.

    Further to shooshi comments you can also consider mailing copies of your documents or any business plans etc to yourself as registered mail ….but don’t open them…..this gives you some protection if required in a court case. Muso’s do this to copy write their music or lyrics, not as good as the real deal, but at least it provides mark in time of the ownership of the intellectual property.

    Cheers

    Steven

    #1033380
    Jake@EmroyPrint
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,117
    Up
    0
    ::

    I agree with the sentiments so far.

    Successful business isn’t so much about the ideas, it’s about the actual implementation. Hundreds and thousands of ideas are thrown around daily with only a handful actually proceeding.

    If you are looking to trademark any work you have, I had a chat to Peter close the other day (He’s a member of the forums) and he’s incredibly knowledgeable in the area and would definitely recommend him – his website is http://www.autrademarks.com.au

    – Jake

    #1033381
    The Trade Mark Guy
    Member
    • Total posts: 8
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thank you Jake for the referral.

    Firstly let me comment on some of the suggestions already made. The idea of posting to yourself copyright material and not opening it has been around for years, but it has one huge flaw. It may prove that certain copyright material existed at a certain time, but it certainly does not prove who wrote it and who is the owner of the copyright. As Australia does not have a copyright registration system, you will have to prove your ownership in court. It is therefore suggested that the true author/owner would be able to prove their creation from research notes, drafts etc.

    Secondly, consider the scenario that we are looking at here. Small start up goes to large corporation with great idea. One has no or little money, the other has a lot. You can get them to sign all sorts of confidentiality agreements etc, but you are the one who has to enforce it at the end of the day.

    History is littered with people who went to broadcasters with great ideas for shows etc. Rejected only to see it in production down the track. Comments that I have heard from various lawyers is “You certainly weren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last”.

    So what can you do?

    Consider selling the idea outright. This may appeal to a large corporation rather than be dependant upon a small underfunded and therefore unreliable partner. I know this is not the first thing that jumps into peoples mind as all they can think about is making mega bucks. But consider taking the money and moving on to the next project.

    If you wish to proceed then protect the idea as best as you can. Have a totally protected package to present. Have all documentation marked up with copyright claims. Have at least an application to register the brand as a trade mark in place.

    If it is a product to be manufactured, consider Design registration for the look and appearance of the article. If it is patentable, ensure that an application is in place. And remember “A PATENT APPLICATION OR A DESIGN APPLICATION MUST BE FILED BEFORE THE INVENTION OR ARTICLE IS PUBLICLY EXPOSED”. If not you are making a gift of it to the public domain.

    Lastly do not even think about saving money by doing any of these things yourself. Consult a professional and do it right.

    Remember at the end of the day, you may need to litigate to protect your position. Your case may be absolutely watertight but you will be asked for funds to commence and run the matter. Many large firms are well aware that you may not be able to do this and therefore treat you with some degree of contempt.

    I hope I have not been to scary or negative, but the Intellectual Property weapons are there to help. Just make sure you use them properly and seek informed advice. As this is a specialised area, not every lawyer has this knowledge.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.