Suppose you determine to do what I recently did and phone the managing accomplice of a consulting agency and propose that the 2 entities agree to explore the possibility of forming a business alliance that just might change into very revenueable? Enterprise is all about deal-making and each once in a while a Solopreneur has to pitch a superb proposal to the fitting prospect. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
However there’s risk concerned, often for the smaller entity. Solopreneurs typically provide intangible services, higher often called mental property. We trade on our experience and judgment, our model and fame, that which distinguishes us from the pack and permits us to make a living.
Partaking in a business alliance or joint venture normally involves the sharing of intellectual property by one or all the events (in this case, it will be me). How are you going to protect your self from unscrupulous operators who may determine to applicable your valuable IP as you are out there attempting to be proactive and proposing potential business deals to parties who might be interested?
Denver lawyer Susan F. Fisher defines mental property or trade secrets as “any formula, method, or information that provides you a aggressive advantage… anything that takes time, cash or effort to develop and that you do not need potential rivals to know about.”
Most business alliances, together with licensing arrangements, require a Solopreneur or business owner to disclose trade secrets and different IP. Defending the coin of your realm is a prime priority. Surprisingly, trade secret protection can mostly be achieved by taking just a few simple steps that cost no cash in any respect to enact.
The 1st step is to identify your intellectual property protection property or trade secrets and techniques as restricted material and therefore not available for basic distribution. Mark the fabric “Confidential” in big bold typescript. Step two is to require a special password to entry the document file, to offer yet another stage of security.
A third IP safety measure is to unambiguously state in a letter, or within the e mail to which the file of IP info is hooked up, that the knowledge within is proprietary and confidential and that it is being provided as part of a business proposition for which you wish to be paid, should the proposal come to fruition.
Instituting such safeguards not only protects IP, but if a dispute should lead to litigation, may even demonstrate to lawyers, judges and juries that you simply recognized your IP as confidential and never meant for basic distribution; that you just made it recognized that the knowledge you shared was sensitive; and that you simply supposed and tried to protect your IP.
The ultimate stage of safety is to require that the party with whom you share IP sign a nondisclosure agreement. The NDA gives formal legal protection in your IP and trade secrets. Additionalmore, the NDA specifies which info is considered proprietary and which is not and also describes guidelines as to how the IP may be used and for a way lengthy the data should remain confidential. Within the NDA, your attorney ought to request that all copies of confidential data that detail the ingredients of your “secret sauce” be returned to you at the end of that term.
So by all means, be an enterprising Solopreneur and pitch a good suggestion to the right determination-maker. Just make sure you start the enterprise off on the precise foot by taking a couple of no-price steps to guard your interests.