I always had many ideas on businesses and projects to start, but then I am not in the position to realise them. Could I, in some way, “sell” them to others, remaining their partners, provided that I contribute in the starting expenses? How can I protect my right of “ownership” on these ideas?

The substantial problem of this prospected situation lays in the fact that there is not a true and proper protection on “ideas”, so intended as intuitions, projects, initiatives that do not become concrete in a technical solution. According to the law, in fact, anybody can appreciate and use the ideas. But every time the ideas become something more than simple commercial projects and become physically real, then it is possible and convenient depositing a patent application, this being the only tool guaranteeing strong protection against imitators. In all the other cases it is possible to resort to external forms of protection offering more limited protection.

The first thing to do is registering as trademark the name of the projected proposal, as long as there are the bases for it and the chosen name is quite effective. Then it is prudent to make an agreement to be underwritten by your interlocutor, where the subject of the project is generically indicated and stating that you will engage yourself in describing it to him, that the other party accepts do make you a “partner” of the project, should what you describe be of interest to him, and of not enacting on it, keeping it secret, in the case it does not interest him. It is a difficult contract to be accepted by both parties who, in fact, sign an engagement in the dark, but it is the only possible instrument giving the hope of some feedback. To be considered the fact that this is only a “just parties” agreement, valid only for them, therefore there is a risk that the other party might reveal the idea to a third person who could then act on it and nothing is owing to anyone. Regarding the “maternity” of the idea, in fact there are no sure ways to guarantee it. In any case it is advisable to describe it in details and deposit it at the SIAE as inedited work: it is not a proper protection but it is however a procedure allowing to demonstrate to have conceived a certain thing at a certain date, and this could in theory become useful.