You cannot protect your idea as such, but you can protect the way in which it came about: invention, brand, design, model, creation.
What is intellectual property ?
Intellectual property refers to the rights which protect creations "of the mind" against any appropriation by a third party.
Intellectual property rights can take several forms depending on the purpose of the protection:
- Copyright (literary or artistic creations)
- Patents (industrial application inventions)
- Trademarks (sign referring to a company's products or services)
- Designs and models (aspects of a bi-dimensional or tri-dimensional product).
These different types of protection are detailed in the R&D/Innovation section of this website.
What if an idea cannot be protected by intellectual property ?
Although an idea itself cannot be protected, it is nevertheless possible to find out its history and its creator via the i-DEPOT procedure procedure. The i-DEPOT is a legal means of evidence that issues a date stamp for your idea or creation. If the latter does not constitute an intellectual property right, and offers no protection in this regard, it may be useful to offer evidence of your authorship in case of a dispute.