I have an idea for a social media site, but I cannot code. I am worried the web developer I work with my steal the idea, leaving me powerless. How can I ensure that this does not happen?

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I have an idea for a social media site, but I cannot code. I am worried the web developer I work with my steal the idea, leaving me powerless. How can I ensure that this does not happen?

Will a trademark help me?

Asked on May 10, 2017 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Trademark will NOT help: trademark protects a name, a logo, a symbol, etc. which identifies the source of goods or services--it does not protect ideas.
You can protect yourself by having anyone you may work with sign a confidentiality agreement *before* you tell them *anything*. The agreement should state that you are disclosing an idea and information to them solely for the purpose of a prospective business relationship; that they acknowledge that the idea to be disclosed belongs to you; and that they may not use the idea or any other information for their own benefit or the benefit of any third parties. If you believe the idea is valuable, hire an attorney to draw up a strong confidentiality agreement for you.


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