View Full Version : Protecting an idea
16-01-2003, 11:45 AM
As you all have lots of knowledge about great places to start looking when starting a business, I have a question regarding something I have never come across before in practice.
I have a client who has a fantastic idea and process which could potentially be huge. Now before we discuss this with anybody, we need to have this protected. I know you can't patent an idea but was wondering if anyone has had an idea/process of their own protected before and could let me have the details of the people they spoke to.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Write out the whole idea in full, (absolutly everything you can think of that relates to it, even if you do not plan to implement it) and place in an envelope. Sign over the seal of the envelope and cover it again with celetope (so your signature is clearly visable).
Then post it to yourself! The post mark on the stamp will prove that whatever is inside the envelope was in there before the postmark date. Sounds silly, but is very cheap, simple and could be used as evidence (should you need it). Long shot, but at least something!
Well, thats one way....hope it helps!
Let me know how you get on,
16-01-2003, 02:47 PM
One of the things that youcould do is the process that Kevin stated along with getting the thrid party to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This will forbid them from telling any one else the idea or using it themselves. Also coupled with the fact that you have sent it to yourself will ensure that your idea remains protected.
If you would prefer a more 'formal' method then you could put the plans (like Kevin stated) in with a solicitor.
16-01-2003, 06:03 PM
Thanks but a non-disclosure agreement is only really to stop people disclosing the subject matter to any other party.
It doesn't protect against someone stealing the idea and putting it into practice themselves.
In this case it needs to be watertight as the approach would be to a national or multinational company who would have the capability of using this idea to generate significant revenue and have the capability to vigorously defend any action against them for stealing the idea.
Thanks for your thoughts so far.
Have a look at http://www.patent.gov.uk/ - there may be some advice there.
Also, try doing a search of the various newsgroups at http://groups.google.com/ - this question is bound to have been asked before. Here's a link straight to some search results:
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