Firstly, it’s all about finding the right partner. Do research into potential collaborators, using reputable sources, and seek recommendations. Are the candidates credible, with a strong track record in this kind of partnership?
Secondly, get advice on drawing up a non-disclosure agreement for both parties to sign before engaging in negotiations.
Define what is meant by confidential information and explore other tools or larger agreements to protect your IP. That could entail licence agreements, consortium agreements and employment contracts. It will help to ‘ring fence’ your intellectual property.
Also keep an audit log of all activity relating to development of your prototype, to refer to if issues do arise.
Thirdly, understand what everyone wants out of the deal.
Are you looking for a partner to invest in the product, or are they just there to provide a service? What are your long-term aspirations? Does your potential partner bring ‘extras’ to the table and are they valuable to you?
Last but not least, get some independent advice. You’ll no doubt be asking friends and other business contacts for their views but be sure to talk to our advisers as well.
We can help you to identify the intellectual property in your innovation and introduce you to the right people, through our partnership opportunities database. Keep an eye out for business events being run by EEN and others.