Showcasing an invention or idea while still protecting the intellectual properties from theft is a continuing problem for smaller firms. A possible solution is being offered on new web site that helps inventors protect their ideas from theft, while at the same time showcases their creations to potential investors and buyers.
myHeureka is a free service that helps users guard their intellectual property (IP) – ideas and inventions – from being illegally patented, copyrighted or trademarked. By using a social-network approach, the web site offers everyday people and small companies a free alternative for IP protection.
Typically, when a person wants to secure IP rights, the person applies for a patent, copyright or trademark through the Patent and Trademark Office. However, along with being cumbersome and lengthy, the process is also expensive. Many creators don’t have the resources to hire a patent lawyer, in addition to financing the cost of the patent itself.
“Unfortunately, the process to acquire this is so bloated that it is almost impossible for a common man/woman to pursue it,” myHeureka representatives say. “PTO offices across the globe cannot cope…with the pace of innovation in this digital age.”
According to the company Web site (www.myHeureka.com), the goal is to help users “secure their intellectual property (IP) rights, pitch ideas with investors for funding, get funded and help them in pursuing their dreams.”
Saving one's ideas on myHeureka is not a replacement for a patent. If one has the money, company representatives suggest securing a patent. But in the meantime, the online service provides a safe place for users to store their ideas.
“The moment an idea is logged on the site, the ideas are automatically protected,” myHeureka representatives say. “Users cannot edit existing ideas, but they can create a new idea by referring to an existing idea, i.e., if it [is] an extension or amendment to an existing idea - either their own or others.”
A date and time stamp is immediately attached to the file. If users later decide to move forward with their idea or invention, they can claim it as their own by referring to the date and time it was filed.
The user-friendly site makes it simple for each creator to view his or her file, while also making it available to other creators. Creators can rate and comment on other ideas and view ratings and comments linked to their own files.
Similar to the format of several social networking sites, a system is devised to show the number of viewers who liked or disliked a particular idea, the number of unique viewers and the overall number of comments.
Creators can also use myHeureka to pitch their ideas to investors by providing a detailed plan for their start-up. If the start-up plan is based on positive reviews, that information can also be included in the details presented to potential investors.
“In the past, investors relied on a handful of people within the company to select their ideas,” myHeureka representatives say. By using this site, “investors can validate their findings with that of the social Web and…monitor ideas of their interest to see responses from the rest of their community before funding it.”