how do I protect myself legally against someone steeling my Idea for a software program
3 Answers from Attorneys
If the idea is subject to patent, you can attempt to obtain a patent on the idea which would give you rights against any third party that infringed the patent.
If not, you would be wise to use a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement with anyone you share your idea with. However you should also employ common sense, and disclose only what you absolutely need to, and to parties that are trustworthy.
if the code is already written, you can copyright the source code. Otherwise, you can try to patent the idea which is a costly endeavor and use non- disclosure, non competition agreements with anyone you share the idea with.
I wish to add that "ideas" alone are not protectable by intellectual property rights. However, the product of your brain child may be protectable.
For material to be protected by copyright, it must be "fixed in a tangible form."
For an invention to be patentable, it must be capable of being reduced to practice.
If your ideas are still in the Research and Development phase, the best way to protect them is through non-disclosure agreements, and as the other attorney stated, by using good sense to only disclosure your ideas when necessary to trustworthy people.
You should retain an intellectual property attorney to fully evaluate your situation and advise how you may best protect your rights.
Best of luck to you.
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