i-Depot don’t lose your ideas

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I-Depot – so that ideas do not get lost

It is often a long way from an idea to its realisation. During this time, good ideas can get lost in two ways.

One is that the idea is not or not properly captured and ultimately disappears from the mind. Surely everyone knows the silly feeling of having had a great idea yesterday and not even being able to remember roughly what it was today.

Even more bitter, however, is the second form of idea loss. Seeing a good idea suddenly realised, but by another person or company.

In the course of human history, there have always been these cases in which people had a good idea, but in the end others profited from it. Below is a short list of 5 really innovative ideas that the inventor or inventors had little or nothing of:

The light bulb: The real inventor and developer was the Briton Joseph Swan, but the US-American Thomas Edison became famous for it.

The telephone: The real inventor was the Italian Antonio Meucci, but Alexander Graham Bell became famous for it.

The laser: The real inventor was the physicist Gordon Gould. But his colleague Charles Townes even received the Nobel Prize for it in 1964. It was not until 30 years later that Gould was awarded the patent for the laser.

The game Monopoly: The real inventor of one of the most famous and best-selling board games in the world was the American Elizabeth Magie Phillips. However, it was made famous by one Charles Darrow, who simply copied the invention, including spelling mistakes.

The radio: The real inventor was Nikola Tesla, but the Italian Guglielmo Marconi became famous and also rich with it.

But it also works differently. 

Quite a few alleged “inventors” have subsequently had their patents revoked or have had to pay high damages because the real inventors were able to prove that they had the idea first. However, it does not always have to be about patents for earth-shattering ideas. Far more often, it is a matter of technical solutions or ideas in the segments of the humanities and the arts. Not everything can be patented, and stealing ideas is not a punishable offence. 

Patents, for example, are only granted for technical inventions that can be applied commercially. For everything else, there are different forms of protection in today’s legal system:

– Trademark protection

– copyright protection

– Utility model protection law

– design protection law

However, all these official forms of idea protection are always limited in time, which is why it is often a good idea, especially today, not to let the idea itself become known. For example, utility model protection lasts only 3 years, extendable to a maximum of 10 years depending on the country. For a good idea that might be easy to copy, 10 years is just the blink of an eye. However, the legal framework of utility model protection is rather shaky, because utility models are examined far less strictly than patents, for example. In the event of a dispute, the owner of a utility model protection may even have to pay damages to the infringer of the utility model – upside down world.

The far better kind of protection, the I-Depot


Ideas are stored in an I-Depot and provided with a legally secure time stamp. This means that it can be proven at any time in a court of law at which point in time the idea was created. Likewise, the idea can be further developed or improved at any time. Each time these changes are made, further time stamps are added. This results in a traceable development history for an idea, but in contrast to the Patent Office or the Office for the Protection of Utility Models, the ideas in the I-Depot are not accessible to everyone. Only the inventor himself or herself or appropriately authorised persons are granted access, and this is practically unlimited in time. 


How sensible it is to keep some things secret is shown, for example, by products such as Coca-Cola, whose recipe has now been kept under lock and key by the company for over 100 years. There are numerous products whose manufacturing processes are secret and have never seen a patent office. This is because ideas with official property rights are no longer secret.

But why I-Depot as a “secret keeper”?


Secrets in companies are the primary targets of industrial spies. But where do spies look for secrets? Correct, in the respective companies. Sometimes also at lawyers and notaries associated with the company. Today, it is primarily hacker attacks on the computers of the targets, but even the “love trap” known from films is still a means of obtaining secret information. 


The I-Depot, however, is a place of safekeeping that is not usually on the list of possible targets for industrial spies. Apart from the fact that an I-Depot means neutrality, access permission can be precisely limited to a certain group of people, which is not always the case in companies with multi-layered hierarchies. Not to mention that even today, in the 21st century, the most popular password for stand-alone computers and laptops is “password” and in second place “123456”, as the Hasso Plattner Institute determined for the year 2023. 


In addition, the form of storage in an I-Depot can be freely chosen. Analogue or digital. Of course, the protection also includes protection against natural forces, such as flooding, and of course the owner of the idea can encrypt it beforehand if it is digital. For example, the so-called AES encryption Rijndeal by the Belgian developers Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijemen is recommended for this. This encryption algorithm is so secure that even the rather distrustful US authorities decided to use it instead of a key developed in the USA. Since 2012, the NSA has been trying to crack the code in a specially constructed building in order to test its reliability in the future. So far, all efforts have been in vain.


What belongs in an I-Depot?


The most important groups that are better off in an I-Depot than anywhere else include:


– Ideas

– Trade secrets and operational know-how

– design

– Music, film, photo, audio data in general

– software

– innovations


The legal effectiveness of temporally recorded deposits from the above list as evidence of imitation or theft of ideas has been proven in numerous proceedings throughout Europe. Due to the standardisation of many legal provisions in the member states of the European Union, the contents of an I-Deposit are not only secure in the respective country of recording. Above all, however, it is the protection of secrecy by an I-Depot that ensures that the success of an idea remains with the respective idea provider.

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