Tips For Protecting Your Startup's Product Ideas

13 June 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you're developing a new business, you may be excited and eager to share your startup idea with everyone you know. While this is a fun time and you may want a lot of support, you should be careful about how much information you share with others. Revealing too much about a new product or venture can put you at risk of having your ideas and concepts stolen by someone you divulged details to. Here are some tips to help you protect your business as you work to get it off the ground.

Select Your Words Carefully

It can be challenging to research your target market and find potential investors without revealing an overwhelming amount of information about your products, concepts or services. Make sure that you only reveal the details that are absolutely necessary when you talk about your business venture. Consider how much information the person you're talking to really needs and don't provide anything other than what's really necessary.

Consider Provisional Patent Protection

When you have your product ideas refined, you'll want to protect them until you can secure a permanent patent. The best way to do that is by applying for a provisional patent for temporary protection. Provisional patents offer short-term protections for your product designs to give you the time to complete and submit your full-length patent application. When you're granted the provisional patent, you'll be provided with the details of how long the provisional award is valid so that you know how long you have to finalize your full patent application.

Require Non-Disclosure Contracts

Sometimes you'll have to provide details of your product ideas, including for some investors and other considerations. In those cases, you'll want to be sure that you have a non-disclosure form for them to sign before you disclose any of that information. These contracts allow you the freedom to be more open with information without concerns that the person you're talking to is going to steal your ideas. This gives you the opportunity to potentially land investors who fully understand your product idea. Just be sure that you work with a legal services team or a business attorney to draft it, because you need to be sure that it is legally enforceable.

Don't let your worries about protecting your information keep you from tackling your dreams. With these tips, you can launch your startup with the confidence that your ideas are protected from the risk of theft. For more guidance, talk with an attorney like McFarland & Masters LLC.