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Protecting my Idea

KrisjhnKrisjhn subscriber Posts: 3
edited November 2006 in Protecting Your Ideas
Hi all, I am new to Startup Nation. Thanks for any feedback
you give me.

I am working with a friend to bring a business idea to fruition. We have, what
we think, is a wonderful idea for an internet based business. Without giving too
much away it is not a b2b or an internet store per say. Rather it is more along
the lines of community building and the marketing of ones self.

My question is, how do we protect our idea? I was reading through the United
States Patent Office website and it seems like a patent covers tangible items
and not business ideas. Also, it looks like copyrights do not protect business
ideas. Is there a way to protect our business idea? Say I was the creator of
MySpace.com. Can that type of business idea be protected? If so, how so?




  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Hi there--I`m not an expert on this (there are other folks on this board who are), but I know there are business method patents which may--or may not be able to protect your idea.The business method patents are under the same scrutiny and, in some case, more scrutiny as other patent applications. So, you really have to weigh things: do you want to spend time, effort, and money working on a patent app, or do you want to get your business out there in front of people and earning money. I think that`s the typical debate entrepreneurs in your position have with themselves.Hope this helps you.
    The Swaynester
  • KrisjhnKrisjhn subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for all your input. Right now I am leaning to just full steam ahead. However, I was curious about provisional patents. They seem to be less intensive. I am curios if any of you have had expereince with provisional patents.Thanks
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    new business methods can be patentable subject matter.
  • LordEmsworthLordEmsworth subscriber Posts: 0
    I agree with most everything that has been posted.  Except that provisional patents, if written properly, cost the same as non-provisional patents.  Kathy hit the nail on the head about provisional patents.  So I do not see that they have much value.  But I know Dr. Lindon does not agree with me on this.
    If you are certain that patenting will not be of benefit, my understanding is that there is great value in being the first in any line of business.  Also, it helps to have a really good trademark or service mark so that others have a much harder time competing with you.  In other words when the public wants your goods or services your name is the first one that they think of. 
  • sallygraysallygray subscriber Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,

    I have an idea for something that already exists BUT for use in
    another way. An elementary example. Someone created a ball, first
    used in, say baseball. But later someone used the same ball concept
    to build a football, soccer ball or basketball. True they are balls, but
    used for different purposes and therefore a new idea for the USE of
    the idea of a ball. Now because the technology exists and it doesn`t
    need to be created, only applied differently, this would truly be an
    idea only. One that could be presented to a company for them to
    make, sell, distribute, etc. It would be all theirs at that point. But
    since it was my idea, I would want compensation. Comments?
    Opinions? Ideas? School of Hard Knocks? Thanks, SG
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