Fact sheet: What's mine is mine - protecting your million-dollar idea

By Tracy Lu
Intellectual Property Media, Advertising & Marketing Patents & Trade Marks Startups Technology Telecommunications

In brief

At the core of many successful startups is a simple but brilliant idea.

You'd want to tell everyone about it – your friends, your neighbours, fellow entrepreneurs on a pitch practice night, your uncle Bob who fancies himself to be a bit of an angel investor…

But before you do, you should consider how best to protect this key asset of your business, so that one day it can become much more than just an idea.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind next time you share your idea:

  • Choose your audience carefully – You should only share your idea with people who you really need to share it with and who you can trust.
  • Keep it confidential – Until you are ready to launch, you should not freely disclose your idea. Ensure that anyone who you share your idea with will maintain its confidentiality – this includes your potential co-founders and investors. Enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  • Think IP protection – Lock in your IP protection early. Think copyright. Think invention / patent. Think design. Put something down on paper and develop the idea further. Get legal advice on what IP protection is available. This means your idea doesn't always have to stay under wraps. It also ensures you optimise protection.