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Say I have a photography app with some special features that are patentable. Actually, just say I have an "app", not even specifying that it's photography. I don't want to show this to potential employers, but at the same time I want to protect its IP. I'm wondering what I can do without filing a patent. They typically have you list your prior inventions, but just stating "Photography App" or just "Private application" is not good enough apparently. I am not sure what needs to be done, yet at the same time not explain any details. Maybe a non-disclosure agreement or something of that sort.

Part of the problem is, say I go an work at Flickr now. I wonder what happens to this patentability / protection. Now instead of Flickr (which is directly related), say I worked at StackExchange (which is software, but unrelated to photography). Say they then invent something that is similar to my app down the road. Wondering what this means.

  • This is a bit vague and broad. Could you try to ask a single explicit question? – Eric Shain Nov 26 '18 at 16:51
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This is a vague question but I'll try to respond. If an employer is asking about your inventions, then I'd assume they mean things that are patented or have a patent applied for. You seem to think that some of your app's "special features" are patentable. This may or may not be true, but let's assume they are. In this case I'd really suggest you consider a provisional patent application. This gives you a one year period of protection. This allows you to show your ideas to employers without losing patentability. Alternatively, you could request a confidentiality agreement be signed with the potential employers. Even with that agreement, I'd suggest you followup with a written communication specifying your intellectual you disclosed.

In any case I am not a lawyer. Even if I were one, I couldn't advise you on the actual patentability of your ideas since you can't publicly disclose them. I always advise to consult with an actual patent attorney in these cases.

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