Unsolicited Ideas Policy Statement
Sling Media, Inc. (“Sling”) is broadly interested in the product and process ideas from all sources, which will ensure a steady flow of new and improved products to meet consumer needs. We believe our success in generating useful ideas will determine our company’s future. Creating, developing, and bringing to market these ideas in a businesslike manner requires careful management by our scientists and engineers in the time they have available.
We depend primarily upon our employees and retained consultants to generate these ideas. Their idea stimulation includes Sling’s own store of knowledge, the published literature, and the technology generally in use in commerce. In addition, we are interested in ideas that come from outside the company; for example, from suppliers, university scientists, small businessmen, and other persons who solicit Sling’s interest. This interest in outside ideas, however, must involve firm procedures to protect both Sling and the submitter of the idea.
In general, ideas that are not patented are in the public domain and can be used freely by everyone. This decreases their commercial value. For this reason, Sling views patent protection as important for our own inventions and ideas as well as those you are offering to us. As a matter of policy, we normally receive unsolicited ideas from the general public only after the idea submitters have first taken steps to obtain patent protection for such ideas. We expect idea submitters to seek and rely wholly upon their patent rights, as defined by the claims of an issued patent, just as our company is required to do in order to protect its own rights.
There are also complex legal issues associated with idea submissions, involving such matters as trade secret ownership and confidential relationships. Your own lawyer can explain these to you. Based on the policy indicated above, we have established firm guidelines that must be followed before unsolicited ideas can be considered. Sling does not receive unsolicited ideas under any circumstances or conditions, express or implied, that could create a confidential relationship or a contractual relationship between the company and an idea submitter. Sling does not pay, or offer to pay, for an unsolicited idea prior to a determination as to whether it has any interest in the idea.
Your own lawyer may recommend, and we would prefer, that you obtain an issued patent before offering your idea to Sling. At the very least, we require that you take steps, preferably through a qualified lawyer, to file an application for a patent. If you wish to disclose your idea after you have filed a patent application, you may contact us again.
In any case, we can receive and review your idea only on condition that you agree that Sling has no obligation to keep it secret, or to refrain from using the idea, or to pay you anything while your idea is being evaluated, unless we have a prior written agreement to the contrary. After the idea has been evaluated, Sling has no obligation to keep secret any submitted information relating to the idea, and Sling does not have any obligation to refrain from use or to pay for the use of any idea not specifically defined and covered by the claims of an issued, in force, patent, unless we should agree otherwise in writing.
Because of the complications involved, we cannot return any material submitted to us nor can we provide you with any explanation for whatever decision the company reaches. Each of these conditions applies to the original disclosure as well as to anything you might later disclose, orally or in writing, unless we have reached a prior written agreement to do otherwise.
We do not receive suggestions of product names, advertising material, recipes, premiums, or contests. Further, we do not receive suggestions for ideas, such as package art design, that are subject to protection by Design Patents or Copyrights. Such ideas are more appropriately obtained from our own employees and advertising agencies.
Each unsolicited idea submitter:
(1) warrants that they are the owner of the idea being offered and are legally free to make a disclosure and to convey patent rights to the idea being offered for disclosure;
(2) understands the unsolicited idea policy statement set forth above and accepts it without reservation;
(3) discloses their idea on a NONCONFIDENTIAL BASIS and agrees that there is to be NO CONFIDENTIAL RELATIONSHIP whatever established in connection with their submission or Sling Media’s evaluation of the idea; and
(4) RELIES WHOLLY ON THEIR PATENT RIGHTS, AS DEFINED BY THE CLAIMS OF AN ISSUED PATENT.