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Can I be sued?

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threecommas

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First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted, an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Vigilante

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First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted, an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Anybody can sue you at any time for any reason. They don't even need to be correct.

When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.
 

Coalission

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My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?
The question is, why do you care so much about preventing it?

If it's a good idea being executed poorly, then they are doing the world a disservice. Start your company, rack up the revenue, get sued, settle, continue pushing big numbers. I don't see what the big deal is. If they are smart, they'll wait until you're big enough for a big payout before they sue, and even then it doesn't matter. Every big company has been sued a gazillion times, your revenue should far outweigh any settlement required, and you don't have to make it easy for them to collect.

This is like being afraid of starting a business because if you're successful you'll have to pay a lot of taxes. The money coming in should outweigh whatever goes out. Just move forward, break stuff, get in a little trouble, make sure you do it under an entity separate from your person like an LLC, and you'll be alright. When I lost my lawsuit virginity, I thought it would be the end of the world. It wasn't.
 

cmor16

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Unless you are blatantly ripping off their brand, don't worry about it.

Nearly every new B&M business is an iteration of an existing one. If I wanted to start an electronics store, could Best Buy sue me?? If I started a grocery store, could Walmart sue me? How about an Italian restaurant, or a pizza joint, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.

Don't worry about it and go after it.
 
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threecommas

threecommas

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This is like being afraid of starting a business because if you're successful you'll have to pay a lot of taxes. The money coming in should outweigh whatever goes out. Just move forward, break stuff, get in a little trouble, make sure you do it under an entity separate from your person like an LLC, and you'll be alright. When I lost my lawsuit virginity, I thought it would be the end of the world. It wasn't.
Thanks for this. Good way to put it into perspective.

Unless you are blatantly ripping off their brand, don't worry about it.

Nearly every new B&M business is an iteration of an existing one. If I wanted to start an electronics store, could Best Buy sue me?? If I started a grocery store, could Walmart sue me? How about an Italian restaurant, or a pizza joint, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.

Don't worry about it and go after it.
I guess if i was going into an already crowded market like electronics (Best Buy), groceries (Walmart), this thought would have never entered my mind because I'd be irrelevant to the majority of established players.

When I'm popping up with a slight (but significant) change to a business that only has 1 existing competitor, i can see from their point of view how they would want to sue the new guy out of existence. I know I would.

But it goes back to the point made by @Coalission. Losing the lawsuit virginity is part of the process.
 

Real Deal Denver

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Anybody can sue you at any time for any reason. They don't even need to be correct.

When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.
WOW. Just WOW!!!

We need the details on this. I'm involved with my cell phone service right now for wasting time like you would not believe. Two hours one day - three hours the very next day - and I'm exactly where I started. They have departments and people in name only - there is nobody that can actually do anything to help you - but they won't tell you that. Instead, they'll transfer you around the entire company until you die of old age.

We. Need. Details. These are the stories we seek out. The juicy flavorful ones...
 

Almantas

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I'm gonna sue you - for bringing back bad memories about a guy trying to sue me. Lol.
 

G-Man

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When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.
I need your lawyer, man. I got my hand broken in a car accident a couple years ago and 6 months later, got 5k. When I went to pick up that pathetic check, the lawyer couldn't wait to show me that he'd gotten a hand carved copy of the Resolute Desk in his office. Maybe I need to get your lawyer to sue my lawyer.
 

Vigilante

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I need your lawyer, man. I got my hand broken in a car accident a couple years ago and 6 months later, got 5k. When I went to pick up that pathetic check, the lawyer couldn't wait to show me that he'd gotten a hand carved copy of the Resolute Desk in his office. Maybe I need to get your lawyer to sue my lawyer.
I did that one Pro Se.

Lawyers suck.
 

MJ DeMarco

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As mentioned, anyone can sue for any reason.

Doesn't make the claim valid or a good use of money.

Bottomline, are you stealing something from the other company?

Or is it just an idea executed better?

GoTo was the first company to create a pay-per-click ad model.

Now everyone does it.
 

Kak

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Do they have a case? Not really.

Can you still get sued? Yep.

Will they sue? Probably not.

Should you be afraid? No.

I’ve sued several companies without a good case before and they settled. Mostly scumbag insurance companies, real estate stuff, companies that bury stuff in the fine print and warranty providers. I don’t get screwed. I have never hired a lawyer to do any of this.
 
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WJK

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First off i'm not sure if this is the right section, if its not mods please move the thread. As my low bank rep shows i'm new here.

Now. As I sit here in Starbucks about to finish Unscripted, an Idea stuck me. Ten seconds of googling later aaand its already been done. By one guy, badly. I can confidently implement the idea much better.

My question is this. How can I protect myself from being sued down the line? This is a brick and mortar business with Intentional Iteration as the main scaling method. My idea does not copy the current business to the T, but its close enough where if my business takes off, I can see a lawyer taking on the case just to have me settle and make him go away. How do I prevent this?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
You're putting the cart before the horse. Get successful first. That's step #1. A good attorney can build you safety net... but, you have to make money to pay that attorney... and you must create something that is worth protecting...

There are two classes of people in the world who are basically sue proof -- people who have LOTS of money and people who have no money. The first group have enough, that they can fight the fight at arm's length, without it hurting too bad. They generally send a "big stick" to do their fighting. The second group has nothing for anyone to gain, so they are immune. Like my Grandmother used to tell me, you can't get blood out of a turnip. Who wants to sue a homeless person?

It's all of us guys in between who have problems with the legal system.

Here's your short answer: If you go to work for someone else, get deeply in debt while muddling along with all of the payments, and rent an apartment for the rest of your life, you probably won't be sued. You'll be one step up from the homeless guy...
 

Ninjakid

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Anybody can sue you at any time for any reason. They don't even need to be correct.

When I was younger I sued doctor' office for wasting my time. They settled.
Lol this could be the plot of a movie
 

ZCP

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You will get cancer.
You will be sued.

Now move on and get some work done!
 

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