Start up idea secrecy
I have an idea and want to run a start up. This idea can not be patented but I want to protect it. I want to share with my friend who I want to partner with. So can you suggest me a way? Will NDA work or do you suggest me to share it on the trust basis because asking to NDA as the earlier phase can upset the partner.
NDA is the legal way to protect the idea before sharing it. Trusting the person depends upon your relation with him, his individual character and capacity of the person to take the idea forward without you. You can be the best judge on this. Also, from your question and being anonymous makes me understand that you are talking about some tech related start-up. If it is related to any new software, you can copyright it.
Signing an NDA is alwasy advisable before you disclose your idea to any third party. This will protect yout interest. It may happen, that once you disclose your idea to some one, then that idea will no longer remain yours and it will be circulated amoung many people in differnet form and version and your idea will loose its novelty.
So better, get an NDA signed, and also, if the idea is novel, then you can get it copyrighted.
I can assist you to draw an appropriate NDA and also assist yout copyright the idea.
Feel free to contact should you have any questions
It is natural to fear that your idea might be stolen. The concept of ‘confidentiality’ is well accepted in India and subsequent agreements for protection of confidential information are considered valid which was upheld in Gujarat case, Sunil Mazumdar v. Aryodaya Spinning & Weaving Mills Co. Ltd. ((1964) A. Guj. 115). But restrain has to be reasonable because according to section 27 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 states that agreements in restraint of trade are void. You can go in for mutual NDA or unilateral NDA
Here are few steps you can follow to avoid your business idea from been stolen:
- Avoid revealing much, and whatever you are revealing you should have it on paper, along with the dates
- You should remember that a business idea/method cannot be patented. Until and unless you can execute your idea in practicality.
- Also an idea cannot be copyrighted, but the expression of an idea is copyrightable. Try to have everything stored in written format along with dates.
- You can go in for NDA with your friend, in this way even if he breaches the agreement, you can still get a compensation for the same in future.
- If you hire someone to help you, have him or her sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement prevents an individual or entity from starting a business that would compete or threaten yours within an established radius
- This business idea is your trade secret. There is no well defined laws over the same like in UK & US but through precedents and common law you can safe guard the same.
If your friend breaches your trust you have a remedy of taking injunction along with certain damages as compensation