Help to finish my prototype. How do I keep my idea safe?

Work with the right people, those with ‘skin in the game’, and sign a non-disclosure agreement before work starts.

Posted on: 08/08/2017

Firstly, it’s all about finding the right partner. Do research into potential collaborators, using reputable sources, and seek recommendations. Are the candidates credible, with a strong track record in this kind of partnership?

Secondly, get advice on drawing up a non-disclosure agreement for both parties to sign before engaging in negotiations.

Industrial Factory Chief Engineer Wearing AR Headset Designs a Prototype of an Electric Motor on the Holographic Projection Blueprint. Futuristic Virtual Design of Mixed Technology Application.

‘Ring fencing’ your intellectual property

Define what is meant by confidential information and explore other tools or larger agreements to protect your IP. That could entail licence agreements, consortium agreements and employment contracts. It will help to ‘ring fence’ your intellectual property.

Also, keep an audit log of all activity relating to development of your prototype, something to refer to if issues do arise.

Thirdly, understand what everyone wants out of the deal.

Partnership opportunities database

Are you looking for a partner to invest in the product, or are they just there to provide a service? What are your long-term aspirations? Does your potential partner bring ‘extras’ to the table and are they valuable to you?

Last but not least, get some independent advice. You’ll no doubt be asking friends and other business contacts for their views but be sure to talk to our advisers as well.

We can help you to identify the intellectual property in your business innovation and introduce you to the right people, through our partnership opportunities database. Keep an eye out for business events being run by EEN and others.


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