I am planning into getting involved in a venture in an asian country.
I have a friend from this country that has an experience in the kind of business I want to be involved in and that has “ built “ some previous work , not making profit out of it though.
I have found ways to make some profit at of what he has done.
I am then thinking of talking about it with him , and if things goes well, to be partners (we both live in the UK) .
My only issue with that , is the fact that he has the contacts ,the experience ,he is from that country; which means , if I gave him a “ sample of ideas “ to see if he is interested , I could be encountering the risk of him taking my ideas and doing all the job by himself without me getting involved in the project.
How could I then talk to him about the new ideas and work we could do together without having this risk of getting my ideas “ stolen “ ?
Is there any ways I could protect myself from that ?
For information, with the few ideas I would discuss with him , he could get started really quick with it ; that’s the risk.
without having this risk of getting my ideas “ stolen “ ?
ideas I would discuss with him , he could get started really quick with itWell, that line implies that there are no easy solutions. Since he's already active in the same area of business, he won't sign an NDA -- or if he does, delimiting what is under NDA & NC will be a major mess. On the other hand, he is very well positioned to run with your ideas and call them his own.
In this case, it comes down to personal trust. Do you believe this man so honorable that he would never do something like this, not even for a large pot of gold? Or, if he implements your ideas without partnering with you, can you think of a way to turn it to your own benefit? Because it's likely to happen...
Just an idea or a line-of-thought is in my opinion worth far less than the real product. I tend to think in a way that if your friend is already in the industry and not able to think of a profitable idea like what you have, (after so much experience) then it means either of these.
Now despite this, if you think your idea is great and have a doubt of it getting copied what I would have done is, I would implement it first, have something ready in hand to sell, and then talk to my friend.
Just a thought, or more of a point -- people rarely 'steal' ideas. Case in point, spend 20-mins, come up with a 'good idea' in a business domain you personally don't care about. Then, think of who's the most likely to 'steal' the idea, find a contact at that company, call them, tell them you're idea, and see if they steal it; they won't, people are too busy dealing with what they think is important to act on someone's idea; the preceding feedback based on experience.
Lastly, if you're meeting people who you believe might steal your work, that's the problem - not trying to figure out how to stop them from steal your work.
If it's so easy for him to "steal" your ideas, they're probably not very unique in the first place.
Bearing in mind that:
If he does like your ideas, ask yourself why you think that he will steal them, rather than bring you onboard to help him execute.
Hire an attorney who is familiar with the local laws in the UK. Have the attorney draw up a confidentiality agreement and a non-compete agreement. Then have your colleague sign this before sharing any ideas.
UPDATE : While an attorney will help provide you with the greatest legal protection for your intellectual property, there are legal websites like http://findlaw.com and http://lawdepot.com where you can purchase legal contracts for your jurisdiction. While I don't know if they cater to the UK, they may have confidentiality agreements that you can purchase for a nominal fee. Do some Google searches if lawdepot or findlaw don't offer the resources you need.
No matter which direction you go, you'd better have some formal agreement in place. Many potential business ideas have been stolen by business partners. However, the more likely scenario is that when there is no agreement in place from which to resolve disputes, misunderstandings may arise. Even parties with the best of intentions may end up losing out because one party misunderstood the intentions of another.
Contracts are designed to defend you from these sorts of legal questions. The answer to how to avoid someone stealing your ideas is to have an agreement in writing. Otherwise, there is no agreement and there is nothing you can legally do to prevent someone from stealing your ideas.
Disclaimer Of course, I'm not an attorney. You shouldn't rely on my advice in this matter and should talk to an attorney who specializes in matters such as this.