Can I stop my former startup co-founder from stealing my idea?
October 21, 2013 6:14 PM Subscribe
So I had this idea for a tech startup. I found somebody that I thought could help me make it real. We developed a pitch for investors. Then he decided he didn't like the equity arrangement we'd verbally agreed to, and informed me that he intended to move forward with my idea without me. Can I keep him from doing so?
posted by anonymous to law & government (12 answers total)
We had no contracts or written agreements of any kind. We never incorporated or created any kind of formal business entity. All that exists are the investment pitch materials and notes from that process, none of which are copyrighted or patented, but many of which I think I can prove were written by me. I know, I know, YANAL or YANML, but here's my first question: Do I have any (U.S./California) legal recourse to stop him from moving forward?
Also, I still want to build my startup. My former partner wants us both to sign a legal document saying that neither of us will sue the other one over all of this. Obviously this would protect me from him coming after me in the future, but my second question is: Do I need that protection, if I can prove that I wrote the materials that contain the key ideas?