In what ways I should/ can protect my rights before divulging my business idea or related information to anyone?


I am in the process of creating a web based start-up which is about a web-portal/application.

In what ways I should/ can protect my rights before divulging my business idea or related information to anyone?? I have developed business model & lot of concepts/ideas for my application working over months which I usually need to tell to people when I want to tell them about my idea/ business. I want to protect myself against any possible hacks by anyone whom I am divulging the information.

I do need to tell sometimes my entire idea when explaining things to programmers or investors or other staff, but I fear that I am not safeguarding my rights. I feel that I should protect my idea so that anyone doesnt steal my idea and come up with the portal/ application before me.

I know it is not possible to patent business ideas but are there any other ways ??

Software Website Business Plan Intellectual Property

asked Apr 2 '11 at 02:34
125 points
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3 Answers


I personally wouldn't worry about it. If you really don't want to divulge your idea then develop it to an MVP (minimum viable product), launch it, and then talk about it.
You will eventually have to launch, and if there's something there competition will follow. You'll have to stand on your feet anyhow.

By talking about it you get valuable feedback. Your assumptions will not all be right. You have the chance early on to adapt and address them, instead of spending your time building something you believe is right, but could have been proven wrong early on.

Just get it out there. Get feedback. If the idea is good you're not going to be able to avoid a fight.

answered Apr 2 '11 at 03:12
Mircea Grelus
782 points


Don't worry about this stuff. Once you have a site, people will begin to steal the idea from being able to see it. Once you have any success, everyone in the world will steal your idea and begin competing with you :)

The only way to win is to start rocking that thing and make it a success by going full speed ahead!

It is almost impossible to protect yourself legally.

answered Apr 2 '11 at 03:31
1,821 points


Nondisclosure agreement would be standard

answered Apr 2 '11 at 03:15
1,747 points
  • Good luck finding somebody willing to talk to you when you hand them an NDA. There's huge ramifications to that. Investors for example have stakes in more companies. What if after signing the NDA you tell them something, that their current team/company is working on right now? They're going to be in legal trouble because you can claim they broke the NDA. Why would investors put themselves in this position? And btw, who's the main beneficiary in a talk with investors? I think you are. Too much trouble for the investor to hear your idea. They have plenty coming their way without NDAs. – Mircea Grelus 13 years ago
  • But you could use that in other situations, as in partner companies or other companies or individuals you may be dealing with in the process who are not investors. – Aslyesnow 13 years ago

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