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Product idea, first step?

          July 28, 2015
Question:

Jennifer, 

This is a little off topic because it is not exactly related to my practice, but I have an idea for a product. I think I have identified someone who can help me have it produced. What is my first step?

Your advice is appreciated. 

Dr. H

Answer:
 
First step is protecting your idea. The concept itself may have value and that is why before you disclose your idea you should have in place legal protections through contract.  Before you contact this potential enabler/partner, contact your counsel for assistance with a proper non-disclosure agreement.  Once you have a contract in place with someone that properly protects your idea, you can shed paranoia the idea will taken from you (without credit given).  Be sure your idea is covered with just enough specificity in your non-disclosure to trace origination to you. 

Not that you asked, but additional steps will be to properly protect your intellectual property through trademark, possibly copyright and maybe even patent (if you are creating something new enough to be considered original). You will also need agreements with any potential partners, manufacturers, marketers, investors, etc. Papering your product correctly is just as important as actually producing something tangible to sell.  

For assistance with any part of the above feel free to contact me.  And, good luck!!!  If it's something I can use, I'll waive the consult fee! 
 
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