Can I protect my idea?

Discussion in 'Accounting and Legal Advice' started by alander, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. alander

    alander New Member

    I have an idea for a forum that is new and unique.I also have no experience building sites or forums.I have secured a domain name and will be working on learning how to launch this internet business.
    I was wondering if it is possible to protect my idea from being copied by someone with more computer skills while I am trying to build it into something viable.
    As I said the domain name has been secured but once the idea is launched I fear that with my limited skills I will be left in the dust before I get it going. Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated thanks
  2. mountainmom5

    mountainmom5 Gold Member

    I find it hard to believe that you can protect much of anything on the internet - lol! So my recommendations is do your research and wait to launch until you are more aware of what else is out there.[​IMG]
  3. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Just do it! Don't think much. If you start thinking, you'll most likely imagine problems that may not even exist.
  4. dmitch31

    dmitch31 New Member

    I would recommend that you get someone who is internet-savvy to assist you. If you've got a unique idea, then you definitely want to get established as quickly as possible. Even if someone else copies you, you'll still stay on top if you've got a head start and maintain a quality site.

    If you get stuck, you can ask questions here. Also, I am a web programmer, so feel free to ask me questions in private messages if you like. I'll be happy to advise you in any way that I can.
  5. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Hi Al,

    I sympathize with your concerns. It's good that you are learning about online marketing. Know that well before you launch.

    If you live in the USA, create a business entity such as a Sole Proprietorship, an L.L.C., or a Corporation for tax write-offs, legal protection, and for establishing credit.

    Read up on forum administration, basic html, PHP, and CSS or hire a programmer that know these things.

    Plan and develop a good deal of content (perhaps folders and a few posts in this case). Will you have any static web pages? If so, try to fully develop as many of these as you can before launch.

    Establish a well-developed, large, and aggressive marketing strategy to ensure a good foothold in the industry. Maintain a good lead and don't let go. Come strong on out of the gate and keep the lead.

    Don't jump into it before you've done these things yet as Vishal said, don't wait too long and don't be afraid of having your ideas stolen.

    If you plan well, don't worry about some or even all of your ideas getting stolen. It may well happen once others see what you are doing. Do a search to see if anyone is doing this. Then at least you will know who to watch. Know your competition.

    Ideas can and will get copied. It's happened to me but I'm doing fine. Just focus on building your own biz and let others do as they will. Once it's public, it's public. If you have to, you can create and send a "Cease and Desist" letter. There are free templates on the net. They are easy to create and they won't cost you anything.

    You can get some limited protection. You can register your trademark and you can copyright some of your important works. If you plan on creating an open discussion forum like this one, you can't really patent that idea as it's been done a million times. If you have a product or a program, you can do a patent search to see if it's unique and then apply for a patent.

    Best of luck,


    ~Newbie Shield~
  6. pcwork

    pcwork New Member

    I have many people copying my websites, but few get it right so you should not worry
  7. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    alander: I was wondering if it is possible to protect my idea from being copied by someone with more computer skills while I am trying to build it into something viable.

    Yes, it's possible to protect your idea from being copied, but only temporarily. The protection is limited to the time you are developing your project offline. After that, as soon as you launch it on the Web, it becomes a potential victim for duplication.

    I'm not saying this to be mean or to discourage you. That's simply the harsh reality of this global marketplace we play in.

    Of course you should do all the prudent things to legally protect yourself and your product through copyrights, trademarks, registrations, certifications and anything else that may apply.

    Having said that, I'll add this: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." So if someone models your idea, that's a good indicator that you've probably got something promising. In that case you can claim the honor of being first. But being first doesn't guarantee that you'll be number one.

    All the previous posts contain very useful information, advice and suggestions. You might even want to ask Vishal (privately) his opinion on particular aspects of your forum project. He has many years of Web experience and an impressive track record managing a successful forum. Plus, he's trustworthy and sincere.

    Finally, I'd urge you to spend as much time as you need sharpening your axe, before you begin chopping.

    All the best!

  8. Freedom

    Freedom New Member

    If you are first with the idea and launch it the correct way. Use many different avenues all at once. Usually people remember the first one with the idea. Don't wait though, until someone else comes out with it and you say that was my idea.

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