Can I protect the idea of a new web service (site), if I want to sell it? 8 Answers as of April 10, 2013

I can make a detailed plan for its creation. Can a non-disclosure agreement help in this case? Thank you!

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Gerald Walsh | Gerald Walsh
You can protect a detailed plan for a new and non obvious web service by obtaining a patent for it. The patent can then be licensed or sold. In the absence of a patent a nondisclosure agreement can sometimes help if you wish to negotiate with someone that is interested in licensing a patent for your web service, if it becomes patented. It may be difficult to commercialize your web service invention without patent protection.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/10/2013
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
Sure you can You should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/7/2013
Law Office of Mathew R. P. Perrone, Jr. | Mathew Roy Patrick Perrone, Jr.
Protection could come from patent and/or copyright. Nondisclosure agreement could be useful.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/7/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
A non-disclosure agreement is essential but it only gives you protection against those who sign it. If you have an inventive new concept for a web-based service, you need to retain intellectual property to explore whether you should file for a combination of patent (strongest), copyright and trademark applications. The devil is in the details, and lawyers such as myself get paid for advising clients concerning the best strategies to follow in a situation like this. If you want to pursue this project, you absolutely must retain intellectual property counsel. And if you do not have a budget for such counsel, then in all candor you are not ready to operate a web-based service. Laying the proper legal foundation is critical for any web-based business.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/5/2013
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
You should have a conversation with an intellectual property attorney to discuss the details. If you think the idea is new, it is probably not safe enough to provide the details here to get the answers you need.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 4/5/2013
    Mark S. Hubert PC
    Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
    Yes a non disclosure can protect the embodiment of your idea (the invention) However if you are that advanced i would suggest that you file a utility patent on it or if money is tight, then just file a provisional patent on it with as much info as you can put together.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/5/2013
    Ochoa and Associates
    Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
    An option is to copyright the website once it is completed, and obtain a copyright registration. If you have special software associated with the site, you may be able to patent protect the software. if you have a business and want to ultimately sell, it is best to talk to an atty about this and prepare yourself for the future sale.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/5/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    The only way to get some level of protection is to file a provisional patent application. The patent office currently work on a "first to file" basis. A non-disclosure is basically just an agreement between two parties. It does not give any patent protection for your idea. The least expensive method is to visit your library and read books on patenting an invention yourself. Then prepare and file a patent application. The USPTO fee for filing a provisional application as a Micro-entity is $65.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/5/2013
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