If I have a statement or image that can be printed on an athletic shirt, how can I protect my idea so I can present it to a company?

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If I have a statement or image that can be printed on an athletic shirt, how can I protect my idea so I can present it to a company?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You can copyright the artwork (the image) and the statement, assuming that such is copyrightable (basically, that it's original to you). An intellectual property attorney can do this for you.

2) In addition, have any prospective manufacturer, business partner, distributor, etc. sign a non-disclosure agreement *before* you present them anything. The agreement will acknowledge that the design, intellectual property, etc. you are about to present belongs to you; that it is being presented only for the purpose of evaluating a business venture; that the company may not use it for its own benefit nor provide it to anyone else without your express permission; and that on the conclusion of discussions or negotiations, they will return all materials to you and destroy any copies they have. Your attorney can draft this agreement for you, too. Good luck.


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