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Can someone steal your creation

  1. Sep 4, 2016 #1
    Hello PF,
    This question has been in my head for a long time.
    Imagine i made a discovery or a theory or a machine ... i don't know just anything that's huge in value.
    Now if i wanted to seek help to continue it or to develop it , what could stop the person that is helping me from stealing it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2016 #2

    Bystander

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    Nothing.
     
  4. Sep 4, 2016 #3

    Nidum

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    +1
     
  5. Sep 4, 2016 #4
    Really now is there nothing you can do to protect yourself?
     
  6. Sep 4, 2016 #5

    Borek

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    Well, technically you can patent it.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2016 #6

    Bystander

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    The (Ts/Cz)ar of Russia couldn't protect himself --- there might be adjudications to your distant descendants.
    A "hunting license."
     
  8. Sep 4, 2016 #7

    billy_joule

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    We have people come into my work (product development) with product ideas, they're often un-patented, we have a standard NDA that protects their IP.
     
  9. Sep 4, 2016 #8
    Is that thing international ?
     
  10. Sep 4, 2016 #9

    Bystander

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    There are treaties "respecting/honoring" patents/trademarks/copyrights and legal machinery for international enforcement. The time-frame for the enforcement is more suited to corporate entities than to individuals, and more-so as value increases. Google "piracy," and "proprietary."
     
  11. Sep 4, 2016 #10
    I recommend you get one of these immediately.

    Tin-Foil1.jpg

    People could be stealing your thoughts!
     
  12. Sep 4, 2016 #11
    Best movie ever
     
  13. Sep 4, 2016 #12

    Choppy

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    I think usually if you've really developed an idea, the companies or groups that help you take it to the next level are more interested in investing for a "share" of the idea than stealing it outright.

    In most cases concept alone isn't worth all that much. But when you have a concept that you've tested, refined, built a prototype of, refined some more, solved bugs on, etc. you move from someone with just an idea to an expert who can make that idea work. And if the idea is original, you're the only one with that expertise. At that point, you're valuable to someone who wants to make money off your idea. If they try to steal the concept, they would have to develop expertise in it and that would be an unnecessary cost.
     
  14. Sep 4, 2016 #13

    dlgoff

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    I remember way back in a chat session were @Evo spoke of these. I think she was stolen from. :oldgrumpy:
     
  15. Sep 4, 2016 #14

    Fervent Freyja

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    Document all correspondence with said helpers. Documentation showing that you came up with the idea first would help if it needed to be brought to court.

    It's a little different in academia, if you have discovered knowledge or something of importance to the world (medical, chemistry, biology, etc.), then it is frowned upon to hide the findings, as it is considered lost time in terms of furthering knowledge. It those cases, it's considered an ethical obligation, whether or not the work is finished, to share.
     
  16. Sep 6, 2016 #15
  17. Sep 6, 2016 #16
    It depends on the person whom you seek help..
     
  18. Sep 7, 2016 #17

    Ryan_m_b

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    Check out this guideline on what can be patented:
    https://www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/patent/topic/what-is-patentable

    In short a patent needs to be novel, useful and non-obvious. There are more specific requirements that are meant to weed out spurious and vague patents (some patents are granted for vague ideas but it's difficult to enforce them in court). If you get a patent then you can protect the commercialisation of your idea by suing anyone who uses it for commercial reasons without your consent.

    Note that this doesn't stop people reading your patent, innovating on it and creating their own novel product that they can patent.
     
  19. Sep 12, 2016 #18

    f95toli

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    Yes. Non-disclosure agreements are extremely common and is what you would use in this case. You can e.g. use an NDA if you are thinking of getting a patent for something but first want to e.g. bring in a consultant to help you with some aspect of said patent. You would then get the consultant to first sign an NDA.
    There are also more "generic" NDAs which can e.g. allow employees of two separate organisations to collaborate more freely in a certain field.
    Note that stetting up a new NDA is not trivial, it can take quite a while to get everyone to agree on the text.and you do need the help of someone with legal expertise. That said, there are "standard" NDAs which can often be used.

    Also, in many industries people avoid using patents since you need to describe you innovation in order to get a patent. Instead they make sure everyone who comes into contact with the new innovation has signed an NDA
     
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