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Whats to stop my invention ideas from getting stolen if I submit them Quirky and the community?
Rodney Wilson 05/08/2012 04:24 AM

I like the premise of Quirky but I do see some flaws in it. I was thinking about submitting an idea of mine but how does the website protect the creator of the idea when EVERYONE can see it?

I've had a bad run in with an "invention help" company before. My idea still belongs to me but it wasn't a pleasant experience to say the lease. So how do people go about protecting their ideas on this site?

Rodney Wilson

to say the least*

Quirky Inventor Vicky Laursen

Well, you could get a patent on it. It's free game to take an idea and submit it to other sites though. But that is the risk you play here.

Gretchen Rieck

they don't. post your idea here, you take your chances.. as for a patent, if you have one why post your idea here? sorry, but that is the nature of this site.

Quirky Inventor Vicky Laursen

andrea  zabinski
andrea zabinski

Yup you take your chances here, anyone can take your idea, but in the end, you could wait 3 years for a patent (if you get one) then post, but then you should license it yourself for the cost of that and get more revenue! You take a risk here or on any other open site.

Stephan Hanna

I have a provisional patent on my idea. I posted it to Quirky to see what happens. This is not my only idea. I'm waiting to see how this one goes to decide how to proceed with my others. The idea I posted to Quirky is simple and did not cost me a bundle to develop. I did design it with a 3d CAD program. I had it prototyped by a 3d printer service and I tested it. It works very well. Now I will see how it is handled by Quirky. If it does well I will submit more. If not I will have learned something.

Malcolm Lawson
Malcolm Lawson

You could always submit it to It cost $25 but it is confidential. The only issue with them (my understanding is) that you can only submit it to specific searches that are open. I submitted an idea to them that was one of my favorites and I haven't really heard back from them since i submitted it 1 month ago. Its frustrating.

Bill Fermano

1st off write down your idea on any paper with drwaings of it or pictures if you made a prototype get it signed by couple of people and date it ! GO to notary public pay $5 get it notaraized make copies of it so you can put it up online

then place it an envelope addressed to your self Bang YOUR invention is protected !

when making a blog type in this at bottom

WARNING: ALL Contents are under Copyright © 2012 the

by --------------- ---------------

® NO content of This Idea, website, invention

may Be Reprinted or Copied in any shape or Form

or sold Without Written Consent From The Author
Under penalty of THE DMCA laws YOU will be sued

in any court of law if YOU try to use my idea for self gain

US sub article 110-75 Paragraph 17

the fine for stealing another's idea or product is very stiff some have been fined for as high as $250,000 lowest is $75,000

Trust me on this i was a mobile DJ for 18 years so many new songs came and went in two months that i started taping from radio to play at private parties !

WHIC is pirating ! BUT i was real DJ i was able to mix in from another song or just cue pop it in like on end beat of last song bang in the start of the taped song !

However if anybody made a call to the DMCA office bye bye me !

Scott Thieman

Bill, I don't come back to Q except to check my account balance. Seems like most have left to be replaced by newbies. Anyhow, i suggest that you brush up a little on IP law. Public disclosure is public disclosure and by sharing any idea publicly is giving it away unless the one disclosing it plans on getting their Patent application filed within one year of disclosing it. What you shared might help prove date of invention and/or disclosure but in no way will it keep anyone from taking it and copying or improving upon it. Legally, the discloser has given the idea away unless he gets the patent and can enforce it. That will take years and from what I've seen on submissions here, very few actually have the invention developed to a point where it could be uphelld in court, it is just given away here. What you wrote is an old wives tale and inaccurate.

angelo cacchione
angelo cacchione

Rodney check Creative Barcode ;)


I have a question. I just learned how to link my site to my profile, but when I search for it in the search window, my product does not appear. Any suggestions???

Ken Campbell

Quirky is actually in a strategic-but-delicate position to revise the patent system for this enormous community; which, if handled responsibly, could become a (the) new standard for processing IP claims elsewhere, realistically, and maybe even influence patent legislature for the better.
I say [strategic] because Quirky is temporarily at liberty to make rules for its process, and it is nevertheless poised to simply redefine a much more efficient "patent system" for its own community, more efficient than what the USPTO (and the PCT) generally use for determining the priority dates of specific features (e.g. in observing and declaring intellectual property rights for User Content). At the moment, this is an opportunity for Quirky to gain a valuable competetive advantage over other startups, one that could easily secure its future in the business world.
I say [delicate] because, if Quirky does NOT implement some sort of procedure for handling intellectual property in a diligently consistent manner, with a quickness, then Quirky will undoubtedly be sued.
As it has failed badly so far, to effectively utilize the combined efforts of its community members in conducting organized patent searches in real time, Quirky can rest assured that it would be found negligent of its duty to care for the intellectual property associated with the Agreement.
As many Users know, Quirky bears a fiduciary obligation to all Users who submit Content for evaluation, not just for the ones whose "product ideas" are selected. In simple terms, this means that Quirky is dutifully bound by legal contract to conduct itself diligently with respect to the IP rights and/or POTENTIAL IP rights of ANY Content on this site.
That basic duty is enacted by Quirky's arguably equitable agreement with each User. It is also expressed implicitly, for instance, by the fact that Quirky pretends to share the Users' clear goal of marketing their Content, on a mass-production scale (within reason, of course).
To put it simply, every single contribution of User Content to Quirky, remains subject thereafter to possible consideration for future development by Quirky. And, by way of the explicit provision in the Agreement between Quirky and each User (as outlined by the Quirky Terms and Conditions) ANY Content that has ever been Submitted could instantly become the "rightful" property of Quirky without a moment's notice.
This potential "automatic transfer" of intellectual property (Content) is not only possible at the start of product solicitations, when Content is submitted directly, but also much later on (even for other evaluations) when it is "recycled" by some other User.
So, absent any language in the T&C that limits the time period during which Quirky may elect the option to selectively develop Content, we have to conclude that the Agreement renders Quirky necessarily responsible for applying diligent regard with ALL Content. (Naturally, that includes preserving and/or pursuing any/all available options for federal protection, when appropriate ...despite Quirky's beautiful "strategy" of deliberately ignoring the most basic steps imaginable, for coordinating fair ownership within its community.)
Ironically, Quirky regularly maintains adequate proof for ALL the contributors of original Content (each with their own automatic copyrights and trademark rights) by operating this web domain and by keeping a "time-stamped" record of world-wide publicizations by its Users very well documented in the submisson pages and comments sections of this vast website.
Also, the Quirky "process" AFAIK actually forces contributors to satisfy one of the most critical requirements for patents--the requirement to disclose enough information about a given concept, so that a layperson can appreciate the benefit(s) of it. That's often no small task, and gets done.
As many frustrated people have surmised, incidentally, it doesn't take much information at all, in many cases, to be considered sufficient for the purpose of enabling others to comprehend the merit of a given feature. It happens here on a very regular basis, and at a feverish pace. I cannot say whether that curdling benefit has been overlooked all along by mistake, or intentionally.
For now though, Quirky enjoys the highly-underrated luxury of being free to devise an experimental "patent" system within its confines. It could do away with Section 103 of the U.S. Patent Code, for example, and never spend a minute on the question of obviousness. Instead, Quirky could actually develop a better system by adopting only Section 102 (novelty) when awarding priority among members of its community.
I must admit this whole Quirky thing is quite a robust accomplishment. Up to now, the repercussions of such sloppy handling of IP concerns here, has not been absorbed yet. And, although Quirky is free to make its own decisions, it may not be free to operate much longer without being able to justify questionable unilateral business decisions it has already made on behalf of its partners (members of its community).
Just be sure to keep track of all dates and details for everything you submit here, because, assuming the Agreement with Quirky cannot be enforced, you still have a full year in the States, to pursue all options for managing your intellectual property, even though the conceptual details have become available to the public.
And, as long as everything on record in the Quirky database is maintained and accessible, there's time to sort things out to the reasonable satisafaction of its fiduciaries within the Quirky community, one way... or another.
...I'm just sayin.

Rodney Wilson

Sorry for the really late reply. Thanks for the great advice. All of you. Especially you Ken. Sound like you guys really know what you're talking about.

So do you guys have any updates on your ideas submitted to Quirky? How has it been going?

David Hopkins

Hi Rodney - as a matter of fact - I submitted my patent pending invention of a digitally enhanced electronic dartboard. It's going well so far - 1st submission - 1 week on Quirky and it's Under Consideration so far. Just waiting to see if it will go on Quirky Live and hopefully from there, the world :)

Now on a side note about whether anyone is going to steal your idea, 1st to invent, patenting your idea. I'm going to be blunt. If you are just playing around and you go "Oh, this is a cool idea - let's see if Quirky can do anything with it and I might make some money" - don't sweat anyone stealing it because it's probably been thought of already. However, if you have a one-of-a-kind never seen before, world changing Invention that you know is a multi-million dollar idea in a multi-million dollar industry that will literally revolutionize said entire industry, then that's a different story.

1st - you begin with research to make sure it hasn't been done and there isn't a patent application in with the patent office (massive time consuming research) - or you'd be amazed at how awesome google really is

2nd - you keep a journal and everything is date stamped (1st to invent can save your life)

3rd - you create (I mean create) your invention - specs, diagrams, story, everything and take it to a patent attorney and have them work with you and get the right patent application in with the patent office. Then you are patent pending (protected until your patent goes through) and if anyone steals your stuff and profits from it, you issue a cease and desist letter and if they don't stop, you sue them and make money that way (years later).

4th - you find manufacturers who specialize in your item and see if they want to pursue. If they do, sell them the licensing rights and there you go - However, if they don't because your invention (much like my digital electronic dartboard) will literally make all of their existing products obsolete and they sit on their hands for approximately 2 years telling you that they're working on it while they're really just trying to stall you out then move on to Step 5

5th - Post it on Quirky because it seems it's the only way you're going to get your truly inspirational and innovative invention into the world.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

EW .

You don't even have to have a Q account to "look around", i.e. "harvest ideas" I would like to see them change that. At least we would know who has been here.