People are quite open and yet at the same time protective of business ideas they have.

On one level they want to share how good these ideas are with other people generally. This is to validate that they have genuine value and appeal and also to work through the practical issues in implementing them.

They also however also are quite protective of them in trying to ensure that they retain the benefit of originality for such ideas.

The balancing act between the two is problematic. It requires careful consultation with an experienced commercial lawyer who also understands intellectual property. 

It is not uncommon for us to have people call us to see what we can do to prevent or stop others who they claim have copied or stolen their business ideas.

Our response depends on a number of factors.

The commonality of ideas generally is such that sometimes coincidence occurs.

Or else the idea already exists and the person claiming it just wasn’t aware of its existence.

In these cases it is difficult to provide legal help of usefulness.

However there are legally enforceable ways of protecting business ideas;

These can range from;

  1. acknowledging your copyright of documents created
  2. lodging a trade mark for an important brand
  3. registering a patent before making your invention public
  4. using confidentiality deeds or NDA (non-disclosure agreements) when discussing ideas with third parties
  5. marking confidential information as confidential or secret

and other ways depending on what the idea is.




Here is a useful link to the Australian bizgov website that talks about protecting ideas

Click here

I have also previously written an article previously on trade marks that you may find useful

Click here

You can also call us on 9528 0235.

Or you can come and see us at a convenient location at either our Crows Nest office on Sydney’s lower North Shore or at Jannali in the Sutherland Shire.

Paul Ippolito is Principal of Ippolito Lawyers. He is an experienced commercial lawyer who enjoys working with business owners, startups and established ones alike. Paul lectures and has for nearly a decade in commercial and corporate law at The College Of Law. He has a special interest in businesses in the creative sector especially the arts, media and entertainment field. Paul Ippolito has also recently completed a course in Intellectual Property Law and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania through its Edx program.

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