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IP protection and pitches

Syphonius

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Feb 14, 2008
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Hypothetical question that floated up in my mind:

When doing a new product pitch to a company (say you have an idea for a new type of widget and you want to pitch it to BigWidgetCo), what kind of IP protection would you reasonably expect to need when doing this?

Is there some sort of reasonable expectation of protection that would already exist?

Should you pursue an NDA?

Should you totally CYA and get all the IP protection (trademark/copyright/patent) you can before you pitch (even if the product is just on the drawing board)?
 

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kurtyordy

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Aug 28, 2007
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file a provisional patent. gives you protection for 1 year and allows you to start pitching the idea whithout worries.
 

JScott

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NDA is sufficient if you word it correctly
Just fyi that many large companies will refuse to sign an NDA in these types of situations...

The reason being that, if the company is currently working on something similar, signing an NDA puts them in a difficult situation -- they can either disclose to you that they're currently working on the idea already (in which case they're giving away competitive information they don't want to give) or they can not disclose this information (in which case they'd be giving you additional grounds for a lawsuit later when you see they've released "your" product).
 

JScott

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How much $ is that?
If you can do it yourself, it's cheap (a couple hundred dollars). But, if you've never done it before, and aren't familiar with how to generalize your claims to point where you actually have some protection for your idea, you're best to get a patent attorney to help you out. Unfortunately, this can cost up to several thousand dollars.
 

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