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You've got an EXCELLENT Idea! Now What?
by Mike Banks Valentine

Q: How do I protect an idea before I do any thing else with it?

A: This is a very difficult place to be in, I've had ideas that I've been interested in approaching a client about, but can't until I actually enter a contractual relationship with them. The key is to have signed agreements that state your intellectual property rights or product design patent or design copyright and trademark.

Ideas are delicate and powerful at the same time. Delicate, in that they can disappear with a puff of smoke as you get new information and powerful in that they can literally change the world!

I've prepared a page at my own site to discuss incorporation at

And a couple more resources to protect your ideas are:

You will want to protect your idea with copyright for intellectual property, trademark for logos or identity marks, patent for product design ideas and of course the Non-Disclosure Agreement for presenting your ideas to potential partners and investors.

I'd love to tell you about projects I've been involved in, but I've signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) on the most exciting ones. ;-)

Q: Who do I contact about buying my idea? (This would be an idea connected to the internet offering sevices not yet available.)

A: The answer to that is research, research and more research. The second question means finding someone with money, an interest in your idea and resources such as experience, contacts, intelligence and honesty (tough call that last one). Here are a few more resources I'm familiar with to try out.

Q: If this is a needle in a haystack idea what would I expect from an interested party? Specifically their return correspondence. I'm not concerned with dollar figures at this time.

A: You can't guarantee anybody will respond positively to your correspondence even if you present your case in a dramatic and convincing way without appearing to hype the potential. Over-hyped "opportunities" abound online. Research your potential contacts thoroughly and present your case. Prepare a "non-disclosure agreement" (NDA) and have them sign on the dotted line before giving any sensitive information that could let them walk away your idea.

Above all, don't waste time! Knowledge is power and you can be sure that others will get the same idea before long. So treat your ideas like projects with schedules, deadlines and priorities. The most important issue is managing your time wisely. We've arranged to save you 90% on a time management course! Visit:

I have done all of the above in regard to several client ideas and website development projects and earned substantial returns on the work from some of them and lost lots of money and time on some of them. There are no guarantees you'll do well. You've got to research, protect your ideas with NDA's and then approach your potential investor/buyer intelligently.

Good luck with your great idea! The web is a great place to launch the latest, greatest original ideas because of the enthusiasm for new ideas online provides fertile ground for your little seedling!


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