Intellectual Property

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition will take all reasonable efforts to assure that all applicants retain their rights to their business plan and intellectual property, but will not sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before accepting or reviewing plans submitted to the competition. These organizations and the judges constantly work with individuals and invest in the ideas of entrepreneurs without signing NDAs.

The protection of intellectual property and the rights to the ideas contained in business plans submitted are the ultimate responsibility of each applicant, and the organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in a business plan they submit to the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

Applicants are urged to mark their applications as CONFIDENTIAL. They are also advised not to put any descriptions of technology in their business plans, which would enable the reader to duplicate the technology or invention described. Applicants should also be careful about disclosing any 'patentable' concepts in their applications because, although in the United States a patent application can be filed up to one year after the first public disclosure of an invention, this is not necessarily the case elsewhere. In many foreign countries a patent application must be filed before any public disclosure is made. See Resources for information about patents and trademarks.

  • www.uspto.gov - US Patent and Trademark Office; general information and search on U.S. patents.
  • www.wipo.int - The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), part of the United Nations and based in Geneva, Switzerland, is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.