7 Ways You Can Stop Someone From Stealing Your Ideas

  1. Convert the idea to paper, recording, drawing, film, hard drive (or in legal speak: material form)It is not possible to protect an idea that is swishing around in your head. Nor is  it possible to protect information, concepts, styles or methods just by “knowing” them. So you need to be careful about who you share those ideas with, until they are converted into data.
  2. Have a strict personal and business policy about who you discuss your ideas with. Often we share our ideas with people we believe we can trust because we are excited about them.  But when it comes to ideas that could generate us income, it is important to be prudent around confidentiality.It’s not possible to give you a list of people who you can trust because we are all different. Apart from my husband and daughter, I don’t tell anyone about my ideas until they are committed in writing and stored in at least two places.
  3. If you are communicating with anyone about your ideas, mark all correspondence with “CONFIDENTIAL.” You can even go further and place a preface at the beginning of each document, email or letter with the following notice: The information in this [email/document/etc] is confidential and MUST NOT BE USED or without obtaining [INSERT YOUR NAME]’s written consent.This is called putting someone on notice.
  4. If you are having a conversation with someone about your idea, preface each discussion with This is confidential. So any information or ideas that I disclose during this discussion are confidential and cannot be discussed with anyone without gaining my permission/consent, in writing (preferably). Ask the person to agree. This is then an oral contract.
  5. Use a confidentiality deed before you communicate any information idea to another person or organization. A confidentiality deed is a document which, if signed, is a binding contract. Of course, this doesn’t stop people from doing the wrong thing if they really want to, but it should give you an action in contract law provided you have complied with the requirements in your jurisdiction.
  6. If the person, organization, or government body (third party) refuses or is reluctant to sign the confidentiality deed, OR if you are concerned they won’t, then you can place a clause in the deed which says they are deemed to have accepted the terms set out in the deed on receipt of your confidential information even if they have not signed and or returned the confidentiality deed to you.  This would require you to send the mail Registered so that someone has to sign to say they have received it.
  7. If the person, organization, or government body (third party) does not comply/agree with 5 or 6 I would seriously consider whether it is prudent to be sharing anything with that third party.


Thank you for stopping in and reading my blog! If you are seeking a confidentiality template - please visit my shop of conscious contracts and agreements.