I have an idea and need to raise capital - will my IP still be protected if i crowd fund?

25 replies
Straight to the point.

I have an idea for an app and need to raise capital for it probably via a crowd funding campaign.

Firstly has anyone used a crowd funding page to raise funds this way for digital marketing?

Secondly, if I do crowdfund is my IP protected or will I need to sign away my rights to this?

I am interested in seeing if this app has legs, however I can't get a bank loan or business loan for it, so this is probably the only way I can get it off the ground.

Feel free to share your experience.
#capital #crowd #fund #idea #protected #raise
  • Profile picture of the author RefuseToLose
    You have an idea.

    You have no protection.
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by RefuseToLose View Post

      You have an idea.

      You have no protection.
      Yes and yes.

      I need to figure out a good way to protect myself, I haven't yet decided how to do this.
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  • Profile picture of the author CalvinKnoxx
    Hi there, As Refusetolose says you have no protection, for app design and stuff from what ive saw you want to get protected maybe try 99designs.com for some help with making your app? they have to sign a form of non disclosure and get your idea protected too.
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    • Profile picture of the author PPG19
      Originally Posted by CalvinKnoxx View Post

      Hi there, As Refusetolose says you have no protection, for app design and stuff from what ive saw you want to get protected maybe try 99designs.com for some help with making your app? they have to sign a form of non disclosure and get your idea protected too.
      It's called NDA. And don't go to 99designs for that. Also putting an idea on Indiegogo or Kickstarter won't give you any benefits. You need to have an already developed product in order to launch a successful campaign on those platforms, generally speaking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    Even if you did use an NDA... Can you afford to enforce it and take someone to court if they break it?
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    • Profile picture of the author PPG19
      Originally Posted by Rob Whisonant View Post

      Even if you did use an NDA... Can you afford to enforce it and take someone to court if they break it?
      That's a good question/point...
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  • If your idea is easy to do, looks like it will be profitable, then yes, most likely someone will rip it off and do it as their own.

    But if it requires that four letter swear word - "work" - then no, you are fairly safe. People don't usually rip off something at the 'starting' stages - unless it looks easy. And they don't usually rip off things at the finishing stages - unless it is easy to rip off - or HUGELY profitable. If it's neither, then by the time someone who actually has the funds, know how & connections to do something about it - you will have already made a small fortune by then.

    Maybe don't disclose every 'nook & cranny' of how you intend to create whatever it is you want to create - but enough that it gets people excited, and willing to invest in you.

    Other thing though - to be successful at crowdfunding - most people (nowadays) - want to at least see something ALREADY CREATED. If you are literally starting from scratch, there will be people who will call it a scam, you a fraud, you just trying to take other people's money, etc, etc. Usually you want to already have a prototype - or at least a very, very good slick demo.
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by InternetSuccess001 View Post


      Other thing though - to be successful at crowdfunding - most people (nowadays) - want to at least see something ALREADY CREATED. If you are literally starting from scratch, there will be people who will call it a scam, you a fraud, you just trying to take other people's money, etc, etc. Usually you want to already have a prototype - or at least a very, very good slick demo.
      Ok, thanks for everyones comments.

      I agree with your comment about disclosure, if I keep it a little vague it would probably work.

      Yep, I think I will work on the demo for now, and then focus on the crowd funding side of things next. Ill only get once crack at a first impression so I will make sure it all looks and appears really sweet.

      Bit of work to do just yet just thought I would put it out there to see if this is the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    First, you have an idea.... Ideas cannot be given any "legal protection."

    Second, if you hire an App Developer... You can make him or her sign an NDA and a non-compete. Neither are worth anything if you don't have "nerves of steel," a deep pocketbook to fund your Legal team.... AND the App Developer resides in your country... Good luck trying to sue someone halfway around the world.

    Finally, anyone can "copy" your App idea.... Almost everything you use is a "copy" of something....

    The iOS, Mac OS, Android OS... and my beloved Windows are "copies" of Alto Executive.

    Facebook is a "copy" of Friendster....

    The list of "copies" is very long....

    Assuming your App is "Earth shattering," there will be "copies" in weeks or months.... Then, it is a battle of who has better Marketing and more funding.

    The only way to be 100% sure it will never be "copied" is to never release it...
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by RichBeck View Post

      First, you have an idea.... Ideas cannot be given any "legal protection."
      .
      To truly be protected never release it that is probably the only way I will have complete peace of mind.

      I used to worry about people stealing my clients when I first started out in marketing years ago, and I guess this is a similar thing.

      Its interesting hearing your comparisons of the popular copies such as Facebook and Window, puts it in perspective.

      I need to do a bit more planning and put some concepts together so I will do some more thinking about it. I guess all I can really do is have NDAs (for what they are worth) and see how it goes.

      My idea is to find someone in my country if I can, hence the crowd funding element as it will be a hell of a lot more expensive to do it here than in India.

      Ill keep working on my idea. Thanks for your feedback
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      • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
        You are welcome.....

        I wish you the best in your venture.
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      • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
        Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post


        My idea is to find someone in my country if I can, hence the crowd funding element as it will be a hell of a lot more expensive to do it here than in India.
        Don't be fooled... "Inexpensive" Developers can be very expensive... They can single handily destroy your business... and your reputation. I've seen it happen several times.

        I could elaborate here... But, it is easier for you to check out my Warrior Forum Blog Post Software Development Is NOT Like Digging A Ditch.

        It is about Software Development... It applies to all "Software Development" - whether it is Web Development, Mobile App Development or Desktop App Development.
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        • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
          Originally Posted by RichBeck View Post

          Don't be fooled... "Inexpensive" Developers can be very expensive... They can single handily destroy your business... and your reputation. I've seen it happen several times.

          I could elaborate here... But, it is easier for you to check out my Warrior Forum Blog Post Software Development Is NOT Like Digging A Ditch.

          It is about Software Development... It applies to all "Software Development" - whether it is Web Development, Mobile App Development or Desktop App Development.
          Interesting Rich, thanks for your comment.

          I would agree with you to some extent with the 'cheap' developers. I have seen clients time and time again decide on cheaper developers to 'save costs' when they are starting up and more often than not they end up having to re-do the whole job again and basically outlay the cost twice or more.

          It is the old case of "you pay peanuts you get monkeys" and I am always surprised when I hear that shock horror their cheap project ended up being a debarkle.

          I'll have a read of your thread for sure - thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Djwillster123
    No one is safe in the internet marketing world
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by Djwillster123 View Post

      No one is safe in the internet marketing world
      I'd disagree...

      There are some people you can trust.... :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author shaqsquash
    It's probably best to speak with a (patent) lawyer, not an internet marketing forum. Have you gotten a provisional patent on your idea? Is it unique?
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by shaqsquash View Post

      It's probably best to speak with a (patent) lawyer, not an internet marketing forum. Have you gotten a provisional patent on your idea? Is it unique?
      Hi, it's unique to Australia. I will be speaking with legal as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by shaqsquash View Post

      It's probably best to speak with a (patent) lawyer, not an internet marketing forum. Have you gotten a provisional patent on your idea? Is it unique?
      Patenting software is a very tough process in many countries....

      The problem is you need to meet various criteria in each country...

      Unless it is something "Earth shattering," it would not be worth the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to seek Patent protection in various countries.

      The following is a great overview:

      Patenting Software
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    before u do any of that, make sure there is a market for this app u have in your head..

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author MeelisM
    Why don't you just build a product so awesome that it doesn't matter if anyone else tries to copy you
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by MeelisM View Post

      Why don't you just build a product so awesome that it doesn't matter if anyone else tries to copy you
      Yes, I am to Meelis. See how I go.

      While I would love the idea of me creating something so amazing everyone will copy, I would like to ensure that I am not chasing my tail too much while I kick it off.

      Like the old saying going, imitation is the highest form of flattery however I'd love to have a crack at this without too many copy cats.
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  • Profile picture of the author hellplates
    you need to validate the idea to make sure it satisfies a pain point and adds value, if you can prove that then it's going to be a lot easier to get support to build a prototype. crowdfunding generally comes later after your prototype. most reputable crowdfunding sites will reject your application unless you have something to show, some customers or revenue and some statistics to show your month-on-month growth.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    It's pretty simple: if you want people to invest in your idea, they need to know what it is and how it will benefit them. You have to be able to take risks to start a business.
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