To protect business idea from others has always been difficult, crucial as well as controversial point. I have seen many experts saying that open should be open as they are just ideas, nothing much. And I personally agree with them as it is not possible to protect ideas using patents itself because patent can only protect some actual existing physical invention. So in this article, we’ll try to focus on some approach that can help you to decide what can be done to protect your business idea from being stolen.
When you have some business idea of launching some utility product or services, at initial stage, you may need to collaborate with some manufacturers or distributor who can actually bring your product or service into existence. It is the point where chances of your business idea being stolen by such manufacturer or distributor are maximum.
Thankfully there are certain ways to protect business idea which are easy and affordable as well. Let’s try to examine them one by one.
1. Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
An NDA is a legal document binding whoever signs it to not disclose to others what you disclose to them while telling them about you business ideas, plans and strategies. This is a general definition. Thus an NDA can be a mutual agreement between two parties not to share information with third parties and as there is no expiration date, it serves the goal.
As I said above, patents can not protect ideas, rather they are made to protect real inventions. The ultimate goal to enlist patents here is to clear confusion about purpose of patents which mostly can’t protect ideas.
3. Non-compete agreement
It is advisable to have staff sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement prevents an individual or entity from starting a business that would compete or threaten yours within an established domain and locality.
4. Work-for-hire agreement
If you hire people to work for you, work-for-hire agreement is required. In this case, make sure to establish that you own every small or big improvements or enhancement made to the original idea. Don’t worry, anything they come up with, is still belong to you. You will still need to list the person who came up with improvements as a co-inventor in your patent, but they will have no rights to your invention.
You should be very well aware of the fact that the idea can be protected only until it has not been implemented as a business. Once your business will get a success, your idea will be open for all and then you can not prevent it to be copied by someone else. However it is a proof that the idea can work without getting failed.