Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Disclosing your big idea

I received an email from a mom who attended my presentation at the Indigo Entrepreneurship Series. Angelique had the following questions:

  1. You talked a lot about getting help from other people (i.e. your pricing strategy). How do you get that help without the fear that someone is going to “steal” your idea?
  2. I’ve seen Robeez knockoffs in the marketplace. Did you consider a patent for your product?

I’ve met some entrepreneurs who were really concerned about their idea being stolen and others who want to tell everyone they meet. I have to say that I fell in the latter of these two camps. I’ve always wanted to see the best in people. When it came time to share my business idea with mentors, I gave all the details. However this also reflected the nature of my product. Apparel products are not eligible for patents. If you are very concerned about this, you could have contacts sign a non-disclosure agreement. I have signed a number of NDA’s when mentoring entrepreneurs. A non-disclosure agreement can be drafted by your lawyer.

And to answer your second question: yes, I did consider a patent however apparel products cannot be patented so I was out of luck.

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