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(Message started by: juice50 on Apr 12th, 2006, 1:51am)

Title: WHAT DOES THIS WEB SITE CONCEPT REQUIRE?
Post by juice50 on Apr 12th, 2006, 1:51am
I have a concept for a web site that will provide a very important service.  I know that the site will get 20,000,000+ registered users to sign up and that may be conservative.  I am a computer novice but know I will need servers to host and security on the system.  Registered users will enter their information and must be able to access the site to make changes as they happen.  An outside entity will have access to all the information.  There will be no charge to registered users but numerous ways to generate revenues from the site.  I do not need money or investors to do this.  I already have secured the domain name for the site.

My problem is that in order to set up the site I will need to disclose what the site will do and how it has to be set up.  My lack of computer knowledge will require me to go to people with that knowledge to set up this site.  Prior to doing that I need to know if there is someway to protect this concept.  There is no such site providing this service at the present time.  But it is certainly one of those "Oh my god why didn't I think of that" obvious needs that has not been filled yet.  Once the information is revealed it could be easily copied.  Again, how do I protect my concept before revealing it to anyone to prevent them from doing anything with it?


Title: Re: WHAT DOES THIS WEB SITE CONCEPT REQUIRE?
Post by JimIvey on Apr 12th, 2006, 12:25pm
This seems to be a variation on the "if I tell my idea to a patent attorney, how do I know they won't steel it" theme of questions.  I can't speak for web professionals, but I suspect they're in much the same position as us patent professionals.

We all have costs that recur on a more or less monthly basis.  We all have invested much time and effort in constructing an infrastructure around us that lets us provide our services in a manner that generates enough revenue in an ongoing manner to cover our recurring costs.  Generally speaking, we are not set up to just run with a new idea and set aside income for a prolonged period of time and the particular skills, talent, and knowledge required to get an idea "off the ground" so to speak.  In other words, it's an entirely different business endeavor to be an entrepreneur than to be a patent professional or a web professional.  That's not to say we're not entrepreneurial in our own business model, but we are already in the business of building our own business and generally don't have much interest in running with someone else's business idea.

Now, having said all that, being paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.  So, you'd probably want some sort of NDA built into your services contract.  You'll also want a clause that stipulates that all the creative work and resulting IP belongs to you rather than the web professionals.  

That's actually the easy part.  The challenging part is going to be keeping Yahoo!, Google, and MSN from implementing competing systems if your site actually generates enough revenue to draw attention to itself.  There, it's likely that your only hope is patent protection.

Regards.

Title: Re: WHAT DOES THIS WEB SITE CONCEPT REQUIRE?
Post by juice50 on Apr 12th, 2006, 1:47pm
Thanks for the response.  My take from your response is that a web site concept can obtain a patent.  If so, I would be very interested in proceeding with that.

Could you give me an indication of the costs involved.

Title: Re: WHAT DOES THIS WEB SITE CONCEPT REQUIRE?
Post by JimIvey on Apr 13th, 2006, 9:26am
Of course, the "web site concept" has to be new and non-obvious.  

There was a topic here some time ago that estimated the typical range of costs for software applications to be $8-12k.  I'd say that two-thirds of software patent application fall in that range in my practice.  Of the remaining one-third, some are cheaper and some are more expensive.  It all depends on the complexity of the "web site concept."

Regards.



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