12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2013 3:38 PM by Bernie Daraz

    Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal

    Michael Mora

      Guys

       

      I know this might be an obvious question,, forgive my lack of knowledge on this.

      I have a design for a Sheet Metal part on Solidworks.

       

      I dont have a shot, so I cannot make it myself, so I need a Fabricator to actually manufacture it.

       

      How can I make sure the fabricator doesnt end up making my part on his side and selling it?

       

      What would be the best way to protect my design so he cannot reproduce it with my permission?

       

      I don know if there is anything technical/legal I can do in a fairly inexpensive manner to protect my design.

       

       

      Thanks

       

      Mich

        • Re: Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal
          Joe Kuzich

          Certainly note on your drawings that they & the part are not to be reproduced without your permission.

           

          Patent your design, and be ready to sue anyone who reproduces it without your permission.

           

          Really there is little you can do to stop someone from stealing your design.  You can make it harder for them to obtain the plans by limiting who you give them to and asking them not reproduce or distribute them as well as return them to you when they complete the job.  You can even have them sign a simple document stating that they will do this. 

           

          Ultimately you are held to their professionalism and honesty.  Of course if you find someone stole it you can try suing them to stop them from continuing to profit from your design or to recoup lost damages.  You would be best to discuss your concerns with a lawyer.

          • Re: Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal
            Walter Fetsch

            I think your best bet is to limit the value of the drawings to the vendor as much as possible.  That means keeping customer names off the drawings, not giving the same vendor all the drawings that go into an assembly, not letting vendors see assembly drawings or bills of materials.

            • Re: Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal
              Robert Pereira

              Michael

               

              A few months ago I ame across the product by the name of Curtain e Locker http://www.coworkshop.com/curtain.html

              This will incrypt your files so they can only be opened from certain locations.

               

               

              It is faily inexpensive and it is a solution parter.

              • Re: Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal
                Bjorn Hulman

                Have yourself a non-disclosure agreement drawn up. You can then get any third parties to sign this before sharing information with them. This will make it easier to solve issues in the unfortunate circumstance they should arise. Yuo should be able to draw this up yourself, there are likely examples on the internet you can use as a template.

                • Re: Protecting Intellectual Rights on Design - Sheet metal
                  Bernie Daraz

                  My reply might be a bit late to be of any help but if it is possible to separate the parts of an assembly so no one shop produces all of the assembly, that may help. I have frequently rapid prototyped ideas all over the US without NDA's. I only sent subsets of parts to various shops. It also eliminated the need for NDA's. A lot of the drawings I have come in contact with over the years have had a ownership or other type of confidential statement thereon. One I have copied below:

                   

                  ALL OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT OR ELECTRONIC FILE IS THE PROPERTY OF company name

                  AND SHALL NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF company name NOR MAY THE

                  INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE BEYOND THE SCOPE DEFINED IN THE NON-DISCLOSURE

                  / NON-CIRCUMVENTION AGREEMENT OR ANY OTHER company name AGREEMENT UNDERWHICH THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN RELEASED.  FURTHERMORE UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN BE

                  MODIFIED NOR SHALL IT BE REVEALED TO ANY THIRD PERSON.

                   

                  I think you get the idea. It does cover PO's and RFQ's too.