How To Protect My Unpatentable Simple-But-Effective Product Against BigCompany


I have a simple idea (I think it is not patentable) that I have turned it into an effective software. It need some more effort to make it commercial. By the way I am not unwilling to sell it to THE BigCompany but I think it is not reasonable now. I planned to distribute it freely to gain a large user base then offer it THE BigCompany. But how can I protect my product against THE BigCompany so that they don't copy it?

Software Exit Strategy

asked Apr 30 '13 at 17:54
123 points

1 Answer


There isn't really much you can do to protect yourself against competition. That is one of the aspects of a free market.

Even a patent won't help you against a much bigger competitor, as they can tie you up in court cases for years and bankrupt you, if they choose.

The best thing you can do is use your agility to your advantage. That is, launch, get users and iterate as fast as possible, so that your user base grows and your product grows in value. This will make it harder for competitors to keep up, especially large companies (fast followers are harder to deal with, as they are also agile and may be funded, but the same principles apply).

answered Apr 30 '13 at 20:07
Steve Jones
3,239 points
  • This. BigCompany wants to buy your effort to build a userbase, and probably in hiring your dev team. That's the hard work, and they'll pay for it. – New Alexandria 9 years ago
  • @NewAlexandria BigCompany already has a very very large user base but they can increase user satisfaction offering our product. – Bahribayli 9 years ago
  • @Bahribayli then consider if you can profit from marketing it to a different industry. If you can, then BigCo is less likely to see and steal it before you have the oomph to launch in their space and make a buy-out natural. – New Alexandria 9 years ago

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