I have a business plan for selling apparel over the Internet, with unique features that distinguish this idea from other sites. Before patenting this idea in the WIPO, can I tell about particularities with the investor, or is that a mistake?

  • As a rule, a potential investor will NOT sign an NDA or other confidentiality agreement. They see too many deals. The more professional they are, the less likely they will sign anything.
    – George White
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


You must avoid public disclosure of your idea before filing a patent application. The usual method of doing this when talking to potential investors is a confidentiality agreement. Have a confidentiality agreement drafted and have both parties sign before disclosure.

  • I am in a country where access to foreign investors is not possible. And this idea applies to developed countries. How can I find an investor on the Internet?
    – MRL
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 8:54
  • @MRL I’m afraid asking how to find investors is off topic for this site. Perhaps you can find some entrepreneur sites outside of Stack Exchange.
    – Eric S
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 14:12
  • do you know any site ? Introduce to me.
    – MRL
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 20:32
  • @MRL Sorry, don’t.
    – Eric S
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 20:36
  • if dont have problem tell me your email or Skype id till i Consult you privately
    – MRL
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 20:37

The short answer is no, not without having them sign a non-disclosure agreement.

There has been written a great article on this topic here: https://ocpatentlawyer.com/protect-idea-before-pitching-investor-licensee-buyer/ by James Yang, Patent Attorney.

Of course, from my experience, it can be hard to make a potential investor sign any agreement before disclosing some details about your idea/invention. It goes back to trusting the potential investor and whether you believe that they could describe your idea in great detail to others. You can limit the possibility of them sharing this, by ensuring that your meeting is not recorded in any way and that no pictures are taken nor images shared with the investor that he/she may pass on to others or make available openly.

Basically, you have to ensure that no publicly available information describing your idea is available by any means - and thereby, you have to eliminate potential threats to this.

  • In my experience, there is no problem at all getting potential investors to sign non-disclosure agreements. There are some times negotiations regarding wording of such documents.
    – Eric S
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 14:10

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