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Offering ideas to brands

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Paul Murray, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Has anyone any experience of presenting ideas for products or apps to established brands? I have a coupe of ideas that I think would be pretty cool, one of which is a different spin on a popular board game that I could really see working as a Christmas product.

    I'm toying with the idea of presenting the idea to the brand that owns the rights to the original game and letting them use it, in exchange for a small financial return of course :icon_biggrin:

    However I'd obviously want to ensure I wasn't going get laughed out of a board room, only to see my idea on the shelves next Christmas. What would be the best way of protecting my idea. Is it even possible, or would their legal team find a way around it?
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I'd definitely seek a lawyers opinion.

    I mean, I watch a lot of Law and Order, Criminal Intent, but I don't think I've seen that show.
    Paul Murray likes this.
  3. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    It would be an interesting test of a company's moral compass if nothing else...
  4. Wardy

    Wardy Well-Known Member

    You would need to copyright in some way initially, or at least be able to show proof of when you came up with the idea. Then you just need to get in touch with the right person
    and meet face to face, which won't be easy if it is a big company. I presume they get lots of potential time-wasters.

    Alternatively, you could produce it yourself through Kickstarter or something, if you can put your own branding to it. There are a lot of board games and apps on there.
    Or you could turn up to one of the big toy and games fairs that they have each year.
    Paul Murray likes this.
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    This is something I'm going to look into. The last time I spoke to a lawyer it cost me £200 an hour though. My bank balance is still stinging from that chat!

    Would simply presenting an execution of the idea on paper so to speak be enough to protect my rights to it?

    If I was 8 I think they'd probably run with it as a publicity stunt. But I'm 28 so I'm not sure I'm cute enough. I could always kick up a fuss in the press if they screwed me over. The Metro would be all over the story :icon_biggrin:
  6. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Ah, I actually hadn't considered Kickstarter or something like that. I could look into that as an option I guess, though I think the strength of the idea is that it's a spin on a popular game everyone knows and has played at some point (it's not Monopoly by the way, they're already saturated with versions).
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Being able to even speak to the right people let alone get into the board room is a huge task in itself. If it is a popular board game like you say, I assume it is a big company, which makes things even more difficult.

    Another thing is, check that your idea isn't already out there in some form or another. You'll be surprised at how many other similar idea's could be floating about, and if it is, they have probably already heard of it. I was in a similar situation last year, as I had a new idea for a new type of 'Smart' Mirror, only to eventually find a similar (but not the same) idea already out and prototypes produced.

    Last thing, be very carefully, only give out as much information about your idea as possible without giving it all away, or enough to which they could figure the rest out themselves, if you get what I mean. Had a similar scenario with a new game app I have designed, approached various medium companies about it, but got little response. It is very difficult to gain a companies attention in an idea, without given them the full details.

    It's like a game of chess and you have to be very careful how you play it. The solicitor suggestion is a good one, but to be honest, worst case scenario if it was going to go that far and you are up against a big company, they will likely be able to blow you out of the water in court. The best thing to do would be to take your time and try and gain their trust beforehand and build a relationship. Consider aiming for Christmas 2015.
    Paul Murray likes this.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    What's the idea? We're all friends here. :icon_cheers:
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Put the documentation (and maybe some files burned to disc) in a heavily-sealed/taped-up envelope and mail it to yourself in a manner which means you have to sign for it. When it arrives, file it without opening it. This will provide decent evidence of the timeline if you ever get into dispute.
    Paul Murray likes this.
  10. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    That was actually my first line of thinking, being able to prove that I'd had the idea and proposed an execution of it well before it hit shelves. I thought it was a myth though.

    I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you :icon_biggrin:
  11. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member


    I don't believe so. I'm sure there are additional precautions you could take, like mailing it to a credible third party (a solicitor would be the ideal) but I'm pretty certain anything which can be demonstrated not have been tampered with would suffice (is there such a thing as a tamper-proof envelope?).

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