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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11644
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have an idea that my friend ran with ... without consulting

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I have an idea that my friend ran with ... without consulting me... he then created business plan and is continuing forward.. he acknowledges that i had the original idea and is willing to agree to a percentage... do i use a promissory form that we both sign, notarize and all is good?

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just having him sign a document that promises to give you a percentage. That would not likely constitute a legally enforceable contract. The issue is that a contract is not created unless there is an exchange of promises. For example, if you get a car loan, the lender promises to give you the money, and you promise to repay it with interest. On the other hand, if somebody signs a document stating that they'll give you money, and you promise nothing in return, then that is not a contract, and the person can ignore the document. If you were to sue and claim a breach of the document, you would lose.

In this case, it is unclear what you would be offering in exchange for the percentage. But there may be different methods of dealing with the situation. For example, the agreement could state that he is buying the idea from you for a certain percentage. That is likely the best option.

The agreement could state that you both acknowledge that the idea was yours, and that your friend is purchasing the rights to use the idea for a certain percentage of his profits, and that you agree to forever hold him harmless for using the idea. If the agreement states something to that effect, and you both sign it and have it notarized, then that should be sufficient to protect you both.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated.

Thank you for using our service!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Awesome... !!! I really don;t like the idea of joining a membership for legal advice... but i don't mind paying.... I was wondering if i should put things in the document like if he changes his name or if he sells the patent to someone else if my document carries over... anyway... thank you for your help

Hi again.

You do not have to subscribe. You should be able to pay for this one answer by rating me, and that's it.

But with regard to the agreement, you don't need to have anything in there pertaining to a name change. The agreement would still be binding on him (people can't get out of contracts that easily! Winktitle="Wink"/>).

You may want to have a provision that if he sells the patent or idea then you receive a percentage of the proceeds of the sale. That would certainly be prudent.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Awesome.... How much do you charge to help write up document>? this is great info. :)

Hi again.

Unfortunately, I cannot draft the document for you. We are limited to answering legal questions at the website. Drafting the document would create an attorney-client relationship, I would become your attorney, and we'd both be in violation of the terms of service which prohibits that arrangement.

But you can look at sample contracts online: CLICK HERE.

That contract is very comprehensive, and probably even a little more complicated than yours needs to be. But your contract can be drafted similarly, and you can add in the provisions that you like from that contract. Obviously, ignore any references to CA law since you're not in CA.

Or, you could both retain a local attorney for the purpose of drafting the agreement. He wouldn't need to represent either of you, and instead his purpose would merely be to draft the agreement and to explain it to you.
TJ, Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i dont know if i just ended our conversation by giving you a rating.. :( thank you for your help. how do i know if i wasn't signed up for the membership?


Hi again.

I'm still here. :)

Thank you for the excellent rating. It is much appreciated.

I can get in touch with customer service and ask them review your account and see what you signed up for.

Also, I want to thank you for using our service!