Between NDAs and patents, a lot goes into creating the next game-changing innovation. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll work with you every step of the way to help bring your great idea to life.
Let’s get started.
WHAT IS AN NDA?
Simply put, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), also known as a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), is a contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, while also restricting third-party access. It’s a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement. The NDA creates a confidential relationship between the parties to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information or trade secrets. As such, the NDA protects non-public business information.
NDAs are commonly signed when two companies, individuals, or other entities (such as partnerships, societies, etc.) that are considering doing business and need to understand the processes used in each other's business for the purpose of evaluating the potential business relationship. NDAs can be "mutual,” meaning both parties are restricted in their use of the materials provided, or they can restrict the use of material by a single party.
OUR PERSPECTIVE ON NDAs
At the beginning of the process, we prefer not to sign NDAs with inventors who are presenting us with their idea. We advise inventors to share with us general concepts that describe the idea or product without sharing anything confidential. Should we want to engage further, an NDA could be the next step.
WHAT IS A PATENT?
In layman’s terms, a patent is confirmation by a government agency that someone’s idea is the first time a product or concept of its kind has been produced, therefore making the person applying for the patent the “inventor.” The invention must be unique, nonobvious, and novel.
A patent gives an inventor the right to prevent others from making or selling their invention without express permission. If someone makes or uses that invention without being allowed to, the inventor can sue that person in court to make them stop. The inventor can sell the patent to another person or company at any time.
A patent lasts for up to 20 years. After that, anyone can copy the invention. Each country has its own patents, with different application processes, rules, and costs. An inventor can seek a patent in any country the inventor chooses. An inventor can also get patents in many different countries for the same invention. The rules for patents are similar for most countries.
GETTING A PATENT
To get a patent, the inventor must describe the invention in writing, and send it to the government. This is known as a patent application. The inventor can write the patent application themselves, but it’s usually written by a person trained to write patent applications, such as a patent agent or patent attorney.
The government doesn’t usually just give the inventor a patent. Instead, the government first attempts to confirm whether the idea is actually new. This is called patent examination. The government will try to find books, stories, or other patents that show that the idea was not new. The inventor, or his or her patent attorney, then tries to show how the inventor's idea is different from anything that the government finds. This patent examination process can take several years.
If the government finds that the inventor's idea is new, it will give the inventor a patent. The government will also send the inventor a copy of his or her patent application with a special seal. This copy is the patent.
OUR PERSPECTIVE ON PATENTS
We’re always interested in new, novel, and unique concepts, even if only some of them can ever be patented. And we’re excited that inventors want to partner with Under Armour, regardless of their current patent status. We’re excited that inventors think of Under Armour with their concepts, regardless of patent status.
If you’re seeking additional information about protecting your idea, check out the following links that can help you make the best decision for yourself:
GENERAL INFO HOW TO FILE A PATENT
Under Armour is intentionally open-minded as we encourage creative submissions and a diverse range of ideas. Here are a few categories of ideas that interest us, but please do not let these limit your imagination:
Under Armour has been receiving ideas since our humble beginnings in 1996, therefore we have heard a lot of the same ideas, many, times. We are aware of the opportunities that are provided in these markets and products, and will consider them when the time is right for our brand, and the product extension makes sense within the guidelines of our products. Please note that submissions for ideas in these categories might not receive a response.
For products associated with sports related concussions, please note that at this time we have committed our resources and attention to the Head Health Challenge current winners. As a result we will not be moving forward with any new product ideas in this category.
SUBMIT YOUR IDEA
If you're sitting on the next great idea that you're sure will make athletes better, let's talk. It doesn't matter if it's full prototype or just an idea, when it comes to innovation, we're all ears. Before you submit, please note that we will review each and every submission in the order in which they are received in approximately 4-6 weeks. If our team is interested in learning more information, we will contact you via email.
To submit your idea, click the link below.
*Please only enter idea submissions above. For any other inquiries such as sponsorship, non-profit partnerships, or if you have a question about how to submit an idea - check out the Let's Talk page.