I have an idea for a smartphone app.
It’s a social app, something in the same vague vicinity as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. I’ve designed and conceived it for iPhone, but I’d eventually like it to be cross-platform.
I have no experience with real coding, but I made a near-fully-functional simulation of the app on Microsoft Excel. I have also made a Power Point slide outlining something of a business plan for how I’d like it all to go. There are a couple of questions I have about my next step.
Look, I know that the best way to protect an idea is to be the first to put it on the market. But how much legal protection do I have (I’m Australian) if I show it to some dude and he goes off and copies it? How do I make a good non-disclosure agreement, and when do I insist it be signed? I don’t want to leave my idea vulnerable to theft, but I don’t want to commit a massive faux pas by insisting that someone sign an NDA when it’s really not necessary; especially someone who might otherwise have been willing to give me lovely monies for my project.
Is it worth getting a patent? I’m a destitute young uni student. I can spare the money if I really, really must, but I’d rather not have to.
I’m thinking of using a site like Freelancer or O-Desk. If I do, can I safely put up an example of the product in my proposition without it being nabbed? Should I try to get a local uni student to code it for me instead?
I’d really appreciate some advice :)