How Do I Protect My Marketing Ideas from Getting Stolen?

April 18, 2008 at 12:43 am 1 comment

Q : How do i go about pitching an idea to a large corporation or their agency with the confidence they won’t steal it?

A: Hmmm . . . great question. The truth is, there is no way to ensure that they (whoever they are) won’t use your idea and take credit for it. Unless it’s something that is very specific and you can patent it . . . say for example, you came up with a solution that utilizes very specific technology or expertise in a way that it hasn’t been used before. If this is the case (it’s your invention), I’d write it up as your new “product” and submit it to the US Patent office (or to the patent office of whatever country you’re in).

This will provide you with some protection if you can prove that the large corporation or agency used your idea. If you think this is going to happen, I would consider doing the following:

1. Document your meetings, your presentations, their feedback — pretty much any interchange that you have with the company/agency fully. This way, if you do find out that they used your idea, and you took the time to patent it, you can get compensated for it.  In addition, we suggest having the client/agency sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement.  It will also provide you with some protection.

2. And, this would be my top recommendation . . . don’t do business with those whom you cannot trust. I understand that it is tough to know who you can trust and who you can’t. However, if you already have a feeling that you cannot trust these people and you think they are going to steal your idea . . . I mean, is it worth it to give your idea to them? Why not find a company that you can work with that you trust and think will actually buy your idea from you . . . as opposed to stealing it from you? Just a thought.

I hope this helps you with your dilemma . . . let us know how it turns out if you get a chance.

Good luck!


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Nancy Arter  |  June 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Just a quick update, James recently contacted me and let me know of a site where you can download patent documents easily via PDF documents. Here’s that site: James says that this site “has free PDF downloading, world patent data, and free accounts to allow you to organize, comment, and share documents, set up alerts and more. Far, far more convenient and powerful than the USPTO.”

    Thanks for the suggestion James!


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