I have a meeting with an investor for my idea, a service model that I have been doing but I am taking it to the next level with more options aka expansion on a new platform. I have an idea how the business process should work, what products we will deliver and how we charge for that 'product' based on 10-year doing it. How do I copyright this 'idea' BEFORE I speak with the investor next week? I am in Texas. I need his investment for expansion, given his background it could be a perfect fit but I don't want to lose my rights to this 'idea', I don't even know if the partnership will end up happening. I am sending him an NDA of course. What else do I need?
Here are few thoughts to help you protect your intellectual property. 'Ideas' are not protected by any law, but a confidentiality agreement can protect ideas. Usually, reputable investors don't sign NDAs, trading instead on their reputation. If you have a business plan or website prototype, you do have copyright protection in those materials. If you have a brand, then trademark protection. The best practice to protect your business while speaking to investors is to (a) know what your intellectual property is, consisting of a portfolio of potential copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents (if applicable), and business strategies / relationships, and (b) do some due diligence on the person receiving your confidential materials. Note that in other types of disclosures, for instance getting quotes from website developers or marketing companies, an NDA is the best route to protect your business, although steps (a) and (b) above should still be considered.