Economically Protecting Your Idea

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Protecting your new idea can be a very expensive exercise but there are initial steps you can take cost effectively. Clare Griffiths of BeLegal talks through the options based on your future …

Protecting your new idea can be a very expensive exercise but there are initial steps you can take cost effectively. Clare Griffiths of BeLegal talks through the options based on your future objectives.

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  • 1. Economically Protecting Your Idea
    • Sussex Innovation Centre
    • Wednesday 28 October 2009
    • Clare Griffiths, Be. Legal
  • 2. Basic Principles
    • Copyright
      • As soon as you write down any words, create any artwork, take any photographs, record any music — your work will automatically be protected by copyright . This gives you (or your employer) the right to stop other people from copying you.
    • Confidentiality
      • Most simple ideas are not protected by copyright. But you can still protect yourself by keeping your ideas secret for as long as possible. If you are going to discuss your idea with someone else, they should agree to keep it confidential before you divulge it to them.
  • 3. Common Myths
    • Copyright registration
        • Some people think that you have to register creative work in order to benefit from copyright protection. This is untrue .
    • Postal Myth
        • Others believe the urban myth that you can ‘copyright’ something by sending it to yourself in the post . This may give you a date stamp on the envelope, but does nothing to protect the work inside.
  • 4. Objectives - Evidence
    • To enforce your copyright and rights of confidence against someone who has used your ideas without permission you will generally have to prove that:
      • you created the work or conceived the ideas in question;
      • there is sufficient similarity with what the defendant has used; and
      • the defendant had the opportunity to copy
    • For confidentiality, you also have to show that:
      • your work is not already in the public domain
      • the defendant agreed to keep things confidential
  • 5. First Steps
    • On creation:
      • Have a set procedure and stick to it
      • Date, sign and systematically file
      • Mark all copies as “© You 2009” and CONFIDENTIAL
      • Back-up electronically stored work
      • Obtain independent verification – witness, lodge with solicitor or online
  • 6. Third parties
    • When you need to disclose your idea
      • Check who you are disclosing to
      • Obtain references where necessary
      • Obtain express written agreement to disclose in confidence
      • Diarise your meetings and what was disclosed
      • Do not email confidential information
      • Do not leave hard copies with third party
  • 7. Online Ideas Protection
    • Provides:
      • Instant online upload of ideas and creative work
      • Independent time and date verification backed by witness statement
      • Standard non-disclosure agreement template
      • Labels and logos to deter IP theft
    www.theideasafe.com
  • 8. File Upload
  • 9. Account Information
  • 10. Case Studies
    • Enforcement
      • Creative agency pitch
      • Pre-existing work being developed in a collaboration
    • Defensive
      • Coincidental parallel development
      • Recipient of confidential information
  • 11. Useful Links
    • www.ipo.gov.uk
    • www.cipa.org
    • www.lawsociety.org.uk