How canI protect my product ideas before showing it to manufacturers?

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How canI protect my product ideas before showing it to manufacturers?

I have a product and I want to have it manufacture, but how can I protect my product idea before showing it to a manufacturing factory ?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Two different options:

1) Patent it--that provides the best protection, but of course can be costly (it can cost a few thousand dollars) and take several months at a minimum.

2) Before showing/disclosing the product idea to anyone, have them execute a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement which will--

a) acknowledge your ownership of the idea

b) state that they are being shown the idea only to evaluate a possible business relationship

c) state that they may not use the product idea for their own benefit or the benefit of any other parties; or to disclose it to anyone w/out your prior written consent

d) state that upon the conclusion of negotiations, if no deal is struck, they will return everything you provided to them and certify that they have destroyed all copies and notes.


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