Ideas get stolen many a time, from the days of Nicolas Tesla till date. But honestly, your ideas won’t come to fruition without the help of investors or assistants. Whether at the early stages of later, you will still need a professional to criticize what you have to offer or a producer to collaborate with you. If you intend to start producing your ideas immediately, getting them patented won’t be the first thing to do. Patents cost a lot of money and could take months to get done.
That being said, there are certain ways to get your business idea protected and make it work for you. Listed below are a list of things you should do.
Carry out a proper research
As soon as your ideas get into development stages, you will have to start talking to certain people about it. Conduct a full research on them or their organization. Find out their history, if they have a good track record and whether former business partners have complained about their mode of operation in the past. If there isn’t, you can also talk to any inventors you have a personal relationship with, who has been around to know if they have done business with your prospects. If you discover anything you aren’t comfortable with, confront them about it. Do not settle for what they offer because of how popular they are. Make sure their business practices are ones you are okay with.
As a genius, there are a lot of vultures looking to pounce on your idea – especially at incubation stage. With your attorney’s oversight and help, there are some legal moves you should make to enable you protect your idea and make it work.
- Signing of an NDA– Ensure that anyone you decide to work with signs a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA). This makes them committed to how confidential your business idea is. The agreement could mean that you or your partner aren’t allowed to share information about the idea with a third party or you are the only one with the liability to do so. You can draft up an NDA without an expiration date.
- Work-for-hire agreement– This agreement pretty much means that anyone who is hired to work on the idea will not/can not lay claim to the improvements made. The original idea and adjustments all belong to you. You can name the person as a co-inventor, but that’s just about that.
- No-competition agreement – This means that anyone who you invite to work on that idea cannot start a similar business as yours within a specific duration.
All that being said, it’s important to patent and insure your business once you start. This helps prevent you from losing out so much when there’s a sudden emergency, hazard or financial constraints.
Get close to your competitors
This might sound a bit weird, but building a relationship with those in the same niche as you goes a long way to help you protect your business idea and make it work. Look at it this way, if your idea is to launch a shoe that cleans itself, you could simply get one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in your area to help produce the shoe laces. This way, they will have zero or no motivation to steal the idea – as they are already benefiting from it. This will also make you both have mutual respect for one another – as partners in the same market space.