On account of the Facebook saga, portrayed in the film The Social Network, more entrepreneurs know about the perils of telling others their good thoughts. Yet, how would you be able to respond if somebody (not an employee or business partner) with whom you shared your idea runs off and begins a competing business? With the end goal of this post, we characterize an idea as a concept that exists in the mind as it were. Utilizing this definition, we can rapidly limit what types of protection and recourse may exist.
A patent is a means for an investor to claim ownership of innovation. The development should be novel, have utility and it cannot be clear to an individual of ordinary skill in that particular art. The patent application measure necessarily includes carefully recording the idea for the development. In this manner, a concept that exists in mind just isn’t protectable under the Patent Act. Speaking transparently and in great detail about your idea may bar you from future patent protection.
Copyright ensures the expression, in a fixed form, of a business idea and not the actual idea. In this manner, neither the Copyright Act nor common law will help secure your business idea based on copyright. If you want protection, you should fix it in a tangible form (for example, a photograph, a video, a piece of writing, a sound recording, a PC program). And, after it is all said and done, it is just the expression of the idea that is secured. For example, there is no copyright in the idea to start a social networking website or for the rules and plot of a PC game—just the PC code, graphics, sound, and layout may have copyright.
There are two basic sorts of trademarks: a word mark and a design mark. The two variants are utilized to recognize the wares and services you give or will give, from those of your competitors. In this manner, an idea for an item or administration name may fall inside the realm of common-law trademark protection. Unfortunately, while it could be hypothetically conceivable to obtain common-law protection for a wordmark based exclusively on oral reiteration, it would be incredibly hard to demonstrate your goal to ensure the name. Essentially, trademark protection won’t demonstrate feasibility.
Confidential information is a form of intellectual property (IP) that has commercial value, isn’t in the public domain, is reasonably ensured, and is communicated to others in certainty. To have a cause of action against somebody who took your idea (that is, to have the option to sue), your greatest challenge will lie in demonstrating your idea has commercial value and that you sustained damages. Arguing that you would have made millions had you acted and prevailing with your idea (that is, speculative damages) is probably not going to persuade a court. This form of IP, while weak, gives the most ideal alternative to legal recourse should your idea be taken.
Likely your lone viable alternative to looking for review is to open up to the world (newspaper, TV, radio, and Internet). The advantages can incorporate public acknowledgment and compensation by those shamed into paying you. The dangers are various and incorporate litigation against you for defamation.
Business ideas don’t equate to achievement
The originators of an idea frequently feel cheated when their idea is commercialized by others. It is important to appreciate, notwithstanding, that more goes into an effective company or item than just ideas. And in any event, when ideas are acted upon and fixed intangible forms, it doesn’t mean that they will dominate the marketplace. Think about the accompanying examples:
- YouTube was acquired by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion in November 2006 whereas IFilm, which began in 1998, was purchased by MTV Networks in 2005 for a couple of million dollars.
- Friendster predates Facebook by two years yet Facebook reportedly has 600 million clients whereas Friendster numbers at 8,000,000.
In short, you have next to no recourse on the off chance that somebody steals your idea. Lawsuits are costly and tedious, and your chances for progress when arguing the misappropriation of your idea are practically nothing. It is ideal to regard the wartime adage: loose lips sink ships.