General Question

cloud916's avatar

How does one pitch a commercial idea to a company?

Asked by cloud916 (12points) February 15th, 2010

would it be wise to patent this idea before trying to sell it? and if so how much would this cost approximately?

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you need protection for your idea.

“If you are interested in filing a provisional patent application the cost for attorney time alone is typically about $1,500, if you are looking to get a provisional patent application written as a precursor to a nonprovisional patent application, which is what you really ought to be aiming for. The filing fee is just over $100 and drawings typically cost $100 to $125 per page, so a high quality provisional can typically be prepared and filed for under $1,800. If, for example, you were to have my firm prepare the provisional patent application for you then you would save money later when you file nonprovisional patent application because we would start with the provisional patent application we created and expand from there. Because we will have already done $1,500 in legal work that would lower the amount you would be expected to pay for a nonprovisional patent application. Please do note that for computer related inventions and software the cost for us to prepare and file a provisional patent application is typically $2,500 plus the filing fee and drawing costs.” Source

grumpyfish's avatar

@cloud916 And very few companies take unsolicited pitches, for many reasons.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I don’t think you can patent an idea. You can only patent a particular mechanism that allows your vision of the idea to manifest into reality. But someone else is always capable of expressing their own idea about your idea.

grumpyfish's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Good point!

@cloud916 If you are trying to sell something like “I think you should start selling widgets instead of buggy whips”, you can’t protect that. If you are trying to sell something like “If you make buggy whips with 10% longer shafts, they will sell for 25% more, etc.” you probably can’t protect that.

However, if you are trying to sell something like “A buggy-whip that includes an mp3 player”, you may be able to patent it. In general, you can patent a product, there are cases where you can patent a business process (e.g., Using widget X to make buggy whips).

Furthermore, you can protect most of this with a non-disclosure agreement, but you’ll want a good lawyer to put it together. Usually NDA’s are good for employees & investors, but aren’t so useful for pitching an idea to a company who may be working on something similar.

lisaland10's avatar

How does one pitch a commercial idea to a company? was the question. I am interested in the answer as well. Is there a secret to getting in with a marketing group? How would you protect your idea, prior to giving it away to the group?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Have a lawyer draw up a non disclosure/non compete contract that the prospective investor would sign in advance of being pitched. But no investor in their right mind would ever sign such a contract. They may already have the same idea in place.

The best way to get it across without worrying about someone stealing your idea, is to get all of your resources into place, and become an absolute expert in the field of invention. That way, the prospective investor would naturally want you to remain on the project, as you’ve already got the mechanism worked out. All you need from them is the money. Investors like turnkey solutions. But you better have your shit together really tight. Otherwise you’ll just look like a punk ass fool flapping your lips with high talk.

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