You’ve spent time thinking about that great idea that will make you a millionaire. What is it? a musical work, a software, an application, an advertising campaign… After having decided, you decide to tell a neighbor about that idea that has been rolling in your mind. You have it clear, it will be a story. That story you plan to write but haven’t started yet. However, you think it will make you a winner of multiple awards and millions! However, some time later you realize that your neighbor published his first book… when you look at it you realize that it was your idea! The one you told him in confidence! How could he do this to you? Now what? The first thing is that unfortunately we must give you bad news. Ideas are free to appropriate! Have you ever wondered why there are so many impossible love stories, or so many still lifes with oranges, wine bottles and bananas. This is because the idea of painting a still life or writing a love story is not protected. What protects copyright is the expression of ideas.
What is the expression of ideas?
The expression of the idea refers to the way in which the idea happened to be an abstract concept and materialized. That is, the idea come true, for example, the written story, the musical composition made, the sculpture. This is why many of us can write a love story but we cannot copy the words of Gabriel García Márquez in “Love in the Times of Cholera”
Some TIPS so that your idea is not stolen
- The most obvious, if you think it is a valuable idea do not share it with anyone.
- If you must tell it because you are looking for an investor, the ideal is to have a confidentiality contract signed. There are some versions of confidentiality agreements that are written in friendly terms and do not sound aggressive. However, this TIP although it is the ideal is sometimes not well received by investors, since sometimes they are not willing to sign legal documents.
- Do not share the valuable information of your idea. Try to keep what makes you special a secret, like a business secret. Yes, exactly! Like the secret of the Coca-Cola recipe. This idea also generates some problems, and that is that sometimes if you do not give full explanations you may not be able to convince someone to invest.
- Finally, if you must send your idea, try to send it as materialized as possible, that is, no longer the abstract concept but rather send the materialization either with a watermark or in low resolution. This will mean that if the person copies it or does something similar, you can have legal tools against it.
However, whatever you do, be sure to get the advice of a lawyer. Follow us at @palacioabogados.