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Thread: I have a brilliant business idea, what now?

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    Junior Member Marcoh's Avatar
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    I have a brilliant business idea, what now?

    Good day guys/gals

    I need some information, I have a very good business idea, something that can(most likely will), change the way we as consumers do business, and how the companies respond to, and acquire new customers.

    Where do I go from here?

    I have the idea and know whats needed to make it happen, but want to keep the idea safe from scavenger. while collaborating with different fields of specialty, to get an idea of what the start-up capital will be to get the ball rolling.

    any help will be appreciated.

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Marcoh,

    First off, it's not the first time I've heard of an idea that will "change the world". I'd make sure you are quite certain of the potential success of the idea, and that you have researched what has/hasn't been done before in a similar vein.

    If you are convinced that your idea is that good, then there are a few things you could do.

    If your idea is an invention, something completely novel and new to the market, then you could look to patent it with CIPRO. This will prevent people from copying the idea. Other similar avenues to look into are Trademarks and Design registrations, also with CIPRO. I would suggest having a look at their website to see if your idea could be registered as intellectual property.

    The process does take quite some time (I've been waiting for months on the results of a Trademark application) but it may be worth it to protect your idea.

    As far as talking to specialists is concerned, I'm pretty sure that getting them to sign non-disclosure agreements is the way forward.

    Good luck with it though. I hope it works out for you.
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    Junior Member Marcoh's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input, I will definitely have a look at CIPRO's website, will a simple non-disclosure agreement like "I agree not to use the information given to me without consent of the owner of the idea" or something in that line suffice?

    And do you have an idea of how much it will cost to register the idea as intellectual property?

    kind regards

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    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Marcoh,

    I'm no lawyer or expert on NDAs, but I would imagine something along those lines would suffice. Here are a couple NDA templates that I found on Google. You could adapt these to your liking. If you are still uncertain, it's best to seek a lawyer's advice.

    NDA Templates:
    1. Template 1
    2. Template 2

    CIPRO's fees are different for different types of registrations. You will have to check out their fee structure on their website. It cost me R600 to apply for a Trademark last year.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I would just like to caution you before you start making CIPRO rich. A patent is the way to protect a novel idea or system. Problem is it's going to cost you a lot of money. You can get a short term provisional patent/PCT registered for possibly R20000.00. Then in a year or so you'll need to go with numerous international full patents which can run into hundreds of thousands of Rands. None of this is worth a damn if you don't have boat loads of money to litigate when someone just steals the idea anyway.

    My advice is to try work out a business model whereby a patent.....at least beyond a temporary patent is not necessary.
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    I have to side with AndyD on this one. I view patents as being for big business with huge R&D departments and legal departments to enforce them. In addition, patents tend to have to be very precise. If your patent simply gives others an idea on which they can improve and develop a newer and slightly better (or just different) product, then you may well struggle to enforce the patent. Not to mention that some countries do not enforce patents as they do not believe that ideas can be reserved. I think China may follow that policy.

    A lot can be said for being first to market. Unless you've got big money backing you, you may have to settle for this.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Registering a patent has very little use if copied by e.g the Chinese or an overseas predator. Rather spend the money doing market research to see whether it is acceptable to the MARKET. Who is your target market? Have you asked their opinion on your brilliant idea? (Family and friends may not want to annoy you by telling you that it won't work).

    There was the dog food case in the US where fancy packaging was made. It only sold the 1st two weeks because it appealed to the buyers. The record sales were not sustained and stock remained on the shelves after the 3rd week..... The dogs did not like the food, although the packaging appealed to the owners!

    Test the concept with the end user, not just one or two, but hundreds and if possible, thousands. Only then consider manufacturing and distribution of the product. Can you do it on your own? Do you need to partner or go into a joint venture? Will you require contract manufacturing? At this stage you will require a non disclosure agreement (NDA) and a service level agreement (SLA) to spell out the rules of the game. You may also include a non circumvention clause to prevent your manufacturer from cutting you out and go it alone.

    Sometimes it is better to share an idea and fine tune it, than to try it on your own and not succeed at all. Approach the experts in this market. Get advice and do lots of research.

    Good luck with your idea!

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    Hi Marcoh - we specialise in launching new ideas. Have a look at www.88agents.co.za
    Advertising to find the right people is free too

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Now there's a familiar name. My inbox got spammed by 88agents just the other day.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Junior Member Marcoh's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the information, I have been reading almost non-stop, at the moment I need someone who can designs databases and websites.
    I will discuss further details with them, I just needed to know how I can protect my idea from being used without my consent.
    Any Database gurus here, give me a shout.

    thanks again for all the information.

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