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Need legal help..


mywhip

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I started to generate an idea to revolutionize college information and how people obtain it. I have made this idea into a slide show that details how everything will work together, and basically how the site will run. I have recently contacted someone that might be able to help me put this idea into motion, and have it running (i am currently waiting on it to be coded, which i can't do myself..). My questions are though, is there anything that i should do to protect myself? I have evidence via emails that this was my idea first, and i have our conversations recorded to show that we actually talk. I am going to have a conference call with him and his brother on Friday, in which i will record the conversation. Is there anything that i should do?

Thanks guy, please take this very seriously..
 


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Get yourself an IP (intelletual property) journal and start writing down just about everything you can about your idea. Then have an impartial party (a friend or teacher, etc.) sign and date each page, as well as yourself. Then you at least have two people that can testify to it and have proof of it. You can also mail yourself snail mail documents since the USPS dates the envelopes, be carefull though, once you open the envelope the contents are no longer considered to be dated by the USPS. If your idea is really good, get yourself a patent attorney and begin filling patents.
 

mywhip

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Well, i have email proof (going to several different people) about my idea, and along with the powerpoint that outlines how everything will work. I also have a notebook that has my original drawings and ideas (i have since revamped these) in it. I will go ahead and have the powerpoint printed out and have the pages signed/dated from a couple of people, and have it mailed to myself and keep it in a sealed envelope (that sounds best). I wasn't aware usps dated their envelopes, however.

I do currently own the domain for the website, with proof that i bought it (via email registration).
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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Yup, unfortunately email proof doesn't count for much of anything in a court of law since people are convinced that just about anyone can find a way to edit those at any time.

Mailing yourself an envelope with the information is considered a "poor man's patent." It will hold up but it doesn't always carry as much weight in court as anything that has gone through the US Patent office. Downside is that getting a patent requires a lot of work and some money, plus once it's out there, there is always going to be some copy-cat who's going to try to move in on your territory if you prove to be successful. And anyone can access your patent information (see: Freedom of Information Act and related). A patent doesn't automatically prevent people from trying to steal your idea, if someone does steal it, you'll have to go to court over it.

I've invented a few things and so has my dad, but we've been hesitant to patent something unless we are sure that it's an idea that will be worth it, and by that I mean something that will make a significant amount of money in the short run and a potential for money in the long run.
 


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