How to Copyright a Marketing Idea


I have a few marketing idea that I have done some research on and have not been able to find other people who have done them. Since I am not in any businesses that could use the idea I wanted to sell them to a company that could use them.

First off, is there a way to copyright a marketing idea, and if I am able to how secure am I from idea theft once I do?

My second question is where would I go to copyright something like that?

Marketing Copyright Intellectual Property

asked Mar 2 '11 at 06:50
Dave Long
111 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


is there a way to copyright a marketing idea

Sorry, but in the general case there is not. You should see this little article for an overview of the different types of intellectual property (IP) that exist, and which areas the different types of IP cover. But generally speaking, there is no legal exclusivity for abstract ideas.

how secure am I from idea theft once I do?

As note above, abstract ideas are not yours to own exclusively. So it would not be "theft" if someone else copies your idea.

That said, some concrete innovations can be patented, etc. The 'strength' of the protection varies by the type of IP as well as the specifics of each case. But in most cases, enforcing intellectual property claims means threatening to take or actually taking legal steps, and is both very expensive and time consuming.

where would I go to copyright something like that?

  1. First, see my linked article above for the specific types of IP.
  2. Read some of the past discussions under the relevant tags, to better your understanding of the topic.
  3. Go see a good, honest lawyer who specializes in intellectual property protection. This area is so complex that a layman will not be able to create a good IP defense strategy. And sadly, good IP lawyers are not cheap.
answered Mar 2 '11 at 07:08
Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points


It sounds more like you are looking for a patent - not a copyright. Here's a good overview of protecting Intellectual Property and the methods available. Here's a good guide on patents.

I have a patent, and the process to obtain one is not easy / inexpensive. Make sure you truly understand why you want a patent, and what benefits it will provide. Many times, a patent is just a license to go hunting - the true costs come when you attempt to enforce your patent.

answered Mar 2 '11 at 09:53
Jim Galley
9,952 points


To protect a marketing idea you would need a patent for intellectual property, it's done all the time. Just google "advertising and marketing patents", you'll find plenty of lawsuits over marketing patents. The US patent law is geared towards the "first to invent" theory, so if you can prove that you invented a system or model first, you prevail even if someone else beats you to a patent.

A marketing idea that uses other technology, machinery, etc.., to implement a system or model would be help your idea become easily patent-able. You may run into other patents, based on the technology you implement in your system or model, that could cause problems, you must be prepared to deal with that.

answered Aug 16 '11 at 22:22
11 points


Not to be rude, but can you name any other marketing ideas that are copyrighted?

Only the "instances" of ideas can be protected. No one has the patent for 'car' ...only the specific technologies that contribute.

You protect not your idea but it's implementation by creating a team and business hard to duplicate. Ever wonder why there aren't auction sites 85% as good as ebay but only charge half?

answered Mar 3 '11 at 10:37
249 points

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