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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5420
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Legal proof I had an idea before sharing it

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I am negotiating with some friends to start a software business, pooling ideas we have. What can I do before advancing my ideas to establish proof I had thought of the ideas before publishing them to my friends? Is a statutory declaration stating the ideas proper? A letter postmarked before the day I share them with my friends?


We have signed Non-Disclosure Agreement forms.  They are both in NZ (I'm an NZ citizen living in Perth).  Our NDA agrees each can do as they wish with their own ideas - it's just to cover safely discussing them with each other.

The obvious, but very expensive option is to take steps to patent your ideas before the meeting, but short of this, I would simply suggest that before having your meeting, you write down the ideas you intend to propose, and then post multiple copies to yourself and ideally to some reliable and reputable professional, such as your lawyer and accountant to hold unopened and in confidence. Keep the copies unopened so that there can refute any suggestion you simply made up the copies and retrospectively dated them.

In intellectual property disputes where it may be relevant who first came up with the idea, it simply becomes a matter of evidence and letters such as these can assist you in establishing that the idea predates your meeting.

There is otherwise no magic fix to evidence issues of this sort.

I would also suggest you read some of the information on the IP Australia website as it has considerable information on the various ways in which you can protect intellectual property and may assist you deal with your ideas in the appropriate way, even beyond the upcoming interaction with your friends.

I trust the above assists.

Please rate my answer so I can be paid for my answer.

Thanks and good luck,

Patrick H. and 2 other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help. I'm off to the Post Shop.





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