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TreMo

I have an idea for a feature to be added to a specific online site, but want to ensure compensation if it is implemented. How do I protect my idea.

6 posts in this topic

I have an idea for a feature that can be added to a certain online site to drastically increase the relevancy of search results and reduce spam. I wrote about 5 paragraphs explaining how it would work and the rationale behind implementing it, and the methods by which this could be accomplished. However if it were implemented I believe it would be of great benefit to the company, and definitely increase usability, efficiency, and inevitably their market share. It would be a shame that I, having had to endure annoyances as motivation to come up with a master plan to eliminate these,not even be compensated for having done so.

 

I was thinking perhaps such an idea could be patented or otherwise legally protected from use without compensation.

 

The particular site in reference is a very popular online auctions site.

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If the "feature" is a software addon I suspect that it can be copyrighted or patented.

 

If you think it's going to be worth lots of money to you, you'd be a fool not to pay an intellectual property attorney to get it properly protected.

 

 

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16 hours ago, TreMo said:

I have an idea. . . .

 

Congratulations!  Do you have a question?  We obviously cannot opine intelligently about the extent to which your idea, together with the 5 paragraphs you wrote, is something for which you could obtain a patent (or any other form of intellectual property protection).

 

 

5 hours ago, RetiredinVA said:

But you can't just patent an idea.  You have to actually implement it, for example by writing the code to make the feature work and patenting or copywriting the code.

 

Well...putting aside the distinction between "copywriting" and "copyrighting" and the fact that patents and copyrights are very different things, it doesn't take much to convert a mere idea into something for which a patent can be issued.

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For the benefit of people reading this exchange months after its posting, let me relate what I saw in a computer game company that was constantly receiving suggestions from its users.

 

In short, the company stopped accepting suggestions. There were too many cases of submitters who felt their idea was being stolen even though nothing like it had been added to the program, there were too many submitters who felt they should be paid just for sending a suggestion, there were too many cases where the submitted idea was commonplace and was already in the pipeline for implementation in the next release, there were too many cases where suggestions that appeared on the surface to be easy to implement would have required  more thorough changes to the program than would be worthwhile, there were too many cases where submitters insisted on requiring a non-disclosure agreement before revealing their idea, which would have meant the company signing non-disclosures willy-nilly and exposing themselves to expensive lawsuits from multitudinous submitters with no real basis for their complaints.

 

There's a very good chance that "a very popular online auctions site" would have a similar history and a similar reaction to your suggestion. 

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