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Old Feb 3, 2012, 09:43 AM   #1
abgarman
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How to sell your ideas to Apple without being cheated...?

I've an idea for a software product, that Apple might really appreciate and want to introduce. Is there any formal way to inform them of such idea? I don't like the legal notice I found on their site ( http://www.apple.com/legal/policies/ideas.html ), saying:

"You agree that: (1) your submissions and their contents will automatically become the property of Apple, without any compensation to you; (2) Apple may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in any way;"

Anybody ever made contact with Apple in such case?
Or maybe I should simply try my luck and send the idea directly to Tim? (maybe he could at least hire me...)

Last edited by abgarman; Feb 3, 2012 at 09:43 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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Save yourself the trouble. They won't buy your idea.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 09:46 AM   #3
blueroom
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Unless you're working for Apple's R&D they'll just ignore you.

Why not develop it on your own?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abgarman View Post
I don't like the legal notice I found on their site ( http://www.apple.com/legal/policies/ideas.html ), saying:

"You agree that: (1) your submissions and their contents will automatically become the property of Apple, without any compensation to you; (2) Apple may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in any way;"
It makes sense that Apple would have a legal notice like that. No doubt they get unsolicited product ideas sent to them all the time. Chances are, some of them present ideas Apple is already working on.

As to how to try and sell your idea to a company like Apple, and protect yourself, without being able to demonstrate a working product… I'd say it's not easy.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 09:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by blueroom View Post
Why not develop it on your own?
It might simply be too expensive for me to develop. :P
Plus, this software would need to be integrated with the system and influence many departments at Apple...
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 10:57 AM   #6
imswimmin
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What is your idea?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by imswimmin View Post
What is your idea?
Yeah. I'd like to know so I can cheat you.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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I don't know how you would "sell" your idea anyways. Nobody in their right mind would pay you before hearing it, and since ideas cannot be patented you would have zero proof that it was actually yours if you told them and they decided not to pay you.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Develop it. Make sure it's good. Get your legal ducks in a row. Court Apple.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 12:42 PM   #10
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No one in any industry "buys" ideas. There are too many people with awesome ideas already working in those companies.

I had many friends in college think they would "make money by selling their ideas to game companies". Obviously that never worked out for them.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 12:50 PM   #11
maril1111
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Give up the idea with selling it, either develop it yourself or don't do it at all.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Idea's are worthless. It's the execution that is valuable. You need to either develop it yourself, hire someone to develop it for you or move along.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 02:35 PM   #13
thewitt
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The advice here is all sound, however you have one other option.

If its truly revolutionary, patent it first. This protects your idea and allows you to make money from it.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 02:52 PM   #14
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Sorry, but the only way is to develop it yourself... But hey, if its really good, you'll be glad you did
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 02:54 PM   #15
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Do it yourself and if it's as good as you say, Apple or Google or someone else will buy your company and you'll make millions
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 04:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
The advice here is all sound, however you have one other option.

If its truly revolutionary, patent it first. This protects your idea and allows you to make money from it.
This is not an option, because you cannot patent ideas.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 04:20 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
This is not an option, because you cannot patent ideas.
Sure you can. It's done every day.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 04:27 AM   #18
miles01110
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Sure you can. It's done every day.
Not in the United States.

http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/patents.jsp#heading-3

Quote:
What can and cannot be patented?

What can be patented – utility patents are provided for a new, nonobvious and useful:

Process
Machine
Article of manufacture
Composition of matter
Improvement of any of the above

Note: In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

What cannot be patented:

Laws of nature
Physical phenomena
Abstract ideas
Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected). Go to the Copyright Office .
Inventions which are:
Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines); or
Offensive to public morality

Invention must also be:

Novel
Nonobvious
Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms
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