What kind of product that you are going to develop? I am also looking for a partner. I have an idea which can work out. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp me at 00971554992989
seek a lawyer who can instruct you in contracts, patents, copyright, and trade secrets.
I'll be the devil's advocate here and advise against patenting. It is costly both in time and money, and there is no guarantee that it will protect the app.
If you are "partnering" and worried that the partner might steal the idea, then the contract is the best protection.
While you can't stop someone who is unethical from stealing your idea without a lot of costly legal maneuvers you can use an Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (MNDA). Most companies will sign an MNDA because it protects both of you.
Before you just choose anyone thinking that one of these agreements will provide protection make sure you do your "Due Diligence." Overall if you are not satisfied with what you find or your gut tells you something is off find someone else.
I've been down this road before and there are very few companies willing to partner on a good idea because they get proposals like yours all the time and if they partnered with everyone who asked they wouldn't make next weeks payroll. But that shouldn't stop you from trying. It's just a heads up.
Also David made some very good points and a provisional patent will give you some protection for a year. The actual patent process and receiving the patent will takes years.
Most businesses, keep the core development inhouse. They break up the overall development project into outsourceable sub-projects, which can then be given out on contract. Offshore /Outsourced product development is a fairly established business.
There are instances where the entire develoment is outsourced. In this case your protection comes from 1) reputation of the App development company. If they specialize in OPD, they would not like to risk their name and reputation 2) Contract with strong IP protection clauses. Such agreement provide for adequate safeguards against IP theft/ loss, etc.
I see most of what you need in previous comments. From experience (I have been burned in spite of diligence of 'knowing better'). two big ones. A specific timeline with documentation written WRITTEN (code) and source code. Make the timeline measurable, not judgmental.
And make sure you have exclusive rights to all source code. The rest is unimportant as if you do not get what you want, in written documented form, the agreement failed (not you) and you may have the wrong app development partner.
By dealing with a reputable company like Bytes Inc. in San Diego. They have the legal documents in place that protect you and your IP. Give me a call to discuss further. 760-807-4022. PDT
Outsourcing activity is well matured and if you go to a decent size company who supports such activities (prototyping, product development, maintenance and support) and who has a history, you can try them after signing a non-disclosure and non-compete. If you need any assistance we could build it for you. WE have been working with few product companies as they end-to-end technology partners for several years. You could talk to some of our clients in the US to get first hand information about our capabilities and practices.
Andre - the obvious answer is to file a patent on your concept, so that it is documented as "yours".
But I'm going to give you an unconventional answer and that is to find a development company that helps to act as an incubator not just for the technology but for the business idea. If they take a piece of their compensation in revenue sharing, your interests in launching your new business will be aligned.
Yes indeed all documents can be created to the hilt and even monitored for any non compliance, while the genuine partnership didn't exist in the first place. What I have experienced in a short span is documents as portrayed by experts below are critical and smart component to have, however, relationships override everything.
So, when the relationship is all said and done, the compliance, commitment, and collaboration follow suit.
I tend to speak with them on the telephone and execute one minor pilot activity and determine several aspects or demographics of the partner. This will come out eventually as I consider partnering with them. Partnering is not just about having a bunch of documents and going about with the legal stick in mutual hands. It is truly seeing the value beyond the legality and finding if the person has a burning platform as much as you do. This is what the customer cares for - consistent behavior and culture throughout the company.
After speaking with them briefly, I suggest working on some topic and let them know this can lead to a higher level of engagement and that we must test the waters to see if it did survive the acid test.
If for some reason you don't like it mutually, then you just walk away and be thankful to each other for finding this early in the process.