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Old 08-07-2007, 05:45 AM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 13,112,370 times
Reputation: 2578

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Are there any attorneys on here that can advise me on how I would pitch an idea to a company w/o them stealing it? Has anyone ever done this before and it turn out positive? How do I go about doing it? Will they even give an appointment? Thank you!
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:02 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,577,430 times
Reputation: 2967
I'm very happy that you've asked for advice before doing this. I have a software programming friend who along with a partner pitched an idea to a group of representatives of very large software company (that everyone knows the name of today). The idea was to get them to fund the idea into development and to hire my friend and his partner. They weren't hired nor called back and a year later their idea was developed by the company. It was easily a $10 million-plus idea.

With that in mind, here's what you want to do. You want to:

#1 patent your idea (and get a patent attorney to help do this). You can expect this to be quite costly (5k to start the ball rolling, 20k or so for the full process), but do it on loan if you need to. Get the process started for this - once started your idea is then your idea and you will always get the royalties/licensing profits unless you sign away those rights.

#2 bring a business/patent law attorney with you to the meeting with the company representatives. It will obviously be costly to do this, but you need not only signed confidentiality agreements from everyone present, but having an attorney with you will enable you to get down to business once the idea is presented.

Overall, this will be expensive as lawyers are expensive. But if my friend had realized that his idea would be stolen, with 20/20 hindsight, $20k or even $40k of debt would have been worth it for the millions of dollars he would have had today.

Lastly - don't worry about "getting an appointment" - the answer is yes you will... most companies (at least ones of significant size and profit) are looking for new ideas and they usually have venture capital or new business development departments for this very purpose.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,432 posts, read 24,199,022 times
Reputation: 24745
This happened to me too. I pitched an idea to a company you all know and a year later they did exactly what I told them to do. They even took the name I suggested for the company. What did I get out of it? Nothing. Not a red cent and not even the recognition.

Yes, people told me I should sue them but there's no way for the little guy to win. All they would have to do is bury me in legal fees. Their pockets are deep. Mine are not.

I hope you do better than I did. Be careful!
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:09 AM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 13,112,370 times
Reputation: 2578
Thanks for the advice and it's exactly what I thought I should do.
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