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Playdo

Non-disclosure Agreement Between Designers?

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I'm looking to start a project with my partner and need some information about the protection (between us two designers).

 

If we brainstorm and get a concept what action should be taken?

 

What I've heard is that if a design is discussed before signing a non-disclosure agreement then it is not applicable for a patent. So should a NDA be signed before brainstorming?

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Guest Bowl of Soup

Playdo,

I am going to answer this mainly because no one else is... I cannot comment on your specific case, since it depends on local legislation... but here is some advise in general.

 

-Always use every mechanism possible to protect your intellectual property.

-A non-disclosure agreement is only as good as the people that sign it.

-Always try to create an environment where others feel comfortable contributing their intellectual property.

-Seek training and legal advise in your specific jurisdiction.

 

Some words of wisdom someone once gave me: "Don't worry too much about people stealing your ideas, the better they are, the harder you are going to have to ram them down their throats."

 

BoS

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Thank you for the advice.

 

-Always use every mechanism possible to protect your intellectual property.

 

I'm curious to how this works in a brainstorming scenario where there are no ideas created of yet. What protection, if any, gets put in place between the designers involved?

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Guest Bowl of Soup
Thank you for the advice.

 

-Always use every mechanism possible to protect your intellectual property.

 

I'm curious to how this works in a brainstorming scenario where there are no ideas created of yet. What protection, if any, gets put in place between the designers involved?

 

It is going to be tricky, especially if you are serious about the patent process afterwards, I would seek legal advise if it is worth enough to you, if not, then maybe your IP can be risked in a group without an agreement.

 

But the key is this, who owns the IP that is coming out of the brainstorm? Is someone paying for everyone's time, do they own the IP? IP ownership is really where the courts and government grant programs tend to draw the line. Don't forget you may already have signed over ownership of the IP if you are part of a large company, or a researcher at a University, etc. This is problematic, because most organizations are only starting to implement true IP policy.

 

Like I said, unless you are willing to take someone to court afterwards, a non-disclosure agreement is only a mechanism to discourage release of your IP, it only works if it actually discourages the other members from releasing information.

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while brainstorming if someone comes up with an idea, and that idea sparks off another much better idea then to whom does the better idea belong?

 

if a brainstorming session is videotaped will it help in court to prove the origin of the idea?

 

@playdo

 

If you need to sign an NDA with the person whom you are brainstorming, it suggests you'll cant trust each other, and if that is the case then how do you expect to work with each other?

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Guest Buff
while brainstorming if someone comes up with an idea, and that idea sparks off another much better idea then to whom does the better idea belong?

 

if a brainstorming session is videotaped will it help in court to prove the origin of the idea?

 

@playdo

 

If you need to sign an NDA with the person whom you are brainstorming, it suggests you'll cant trust each other, and if that is the case then how do you expect to work with each other?

 

Just about one of the smartest things I've read in a long while

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@buff

 

Thanks for the compliment.

 

@Playdo

 

I don't know. If you are a student maybe you can consult an IP lawyer or ask you college to arrange a guest lecture by an IP lawyer. We had one in college. He offered a 90% discount on patent application for students (it was Rs. 100000 for professionals, he offered to file a patent for Rs. 10000 to us).

 

If you eventually solve this problem, please let us all know how you did it for the benefit of the community.

 

I think we should have a "Lessons Learnt" sub-forum or topic so what we can put up our mistakes and how we resolved them (it could be in prototyping, rendering, or any other topic relating to ID)

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You can have as many people as you want named on the patent as inventors. Another approach would be to set up a company, organise a shared ownership (specifying the percentage share of each owner) then assign the patent to the company.

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Guest Buff
I just contacted the IPO before reading your post and found out about the multiple names. That's an interesting approach regarding setting up a company.

 

Quite tax efficient too :)

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