Protecting your creativity is important. You should be paid and recognised for your creative work. UK law makes it very difficult to rely on intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trade marks, to protect the ideas behind a campaign. If your ideas are ‘stolen’ you usually have to rely on the law relating to confidentiality (see What is the Legal Effect? below). The Alliance Pitch Protection is designed to help prevent disputes with clients arising in the first place by acting as a deterrent to clients thinking about stealing your ideas. The Certificate puts clients on notice of the fact that you treat the pitch as confidential, and that you have identified what is valuable and could be protected. The fact that you have taken the trouble to register the pitch sends a message that you will also take the trouble to protect confidential ideas if they are used without your consent. Registration of the pitch documents will mean that there can be no argument as to what you had created and when.
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How to use The Alliance Pitch Protection
- Download and complete the Pitch Protection Application Form_2020 (see Notes for Completion of Application Form below).
- Send the scanned Application Form, together with all relevant pitch documents to email@example.com
What happens then?
On the day of receipt of this documentation you will receive by email a pitch Registration Certificate. Lee & Thompson will retain a copy of the Registration Certificate, the Application Form and pitch material. These will be released only on request from the authorised representative stated in the Application Form. You will need to tell us if the representative changes.
What happens if the pitch documents are completed at the last minute?
Many pitch documents are completed at the last minute. The information you need to complete the Application Form should be available before you complete the pitch document. You can complete the Application Form and send it to us in advance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then prepare your certificate so that it is ready to be sent back to you as soon as you send us the final pitch documentation. When we receive the documentation we will register the documents, complete the certificate and email it to you in PDF format as quickly as we can. We can also courier a hard copy to you at your cost.
What is the Legal Effect?
The main effect of the scheme is to act as a deterrent to clients thinking of using your ideas without you. Registration does not guarantee that your ideas can be protected – if a dispute arises you still have to satisfy the legal requirements. You still have to show that your ideas are original and valuable, that they were disclosed in confidence, and that a third party has used those ideas. When we complete the Registration Certificate we will not check to see whether the ideas set out in the Application Form properly reflect what is contained in the pitch documents, and nor will we consider whether those ideas are capable of being protected as confidential information or otherwise. That said, registration, and use of the Certificate in your pitches will help if a dispute does arise:
- The confidentiality notice in the Certificate demonstrates that you consider the pitch to be ‘confidential’.
- The details you provide regarding the key concepts and ideas help to demonstrate that those ideas were well defined and capable of exploitation.
- Having defined the ideas that are most important to you, it will be much easier to see when clients use those ideas.
Notes on completion of Pitch Protection application form
- Agency Details: Insert Agency name and address.
- Client Details: Insert name of client and any other relevant details (e.g. department and individuals if known).
- Date of Pitch: Insert date that the pitch documents will first be disclosed to the client.
- Key Concepts and Ideas: Insert the key ideas, information and concepts embodied in the pitch proposal. Try and describe these concisely e.g. “the concept of using a famous footballer in connection with brand X”. For guidance as to what could amount to confidential information please (see What is the Legal Effect? above).
- Agency Representatives: Insert details of at least one authorised representative from the Agency. The purpose of Pitch Protection is to protect confidential ideas. It is therefore important that the ideas contained in the pitch and the pitch documents themselves are not disclosed to anyone who is not authorised by the Agency. We will only release the pitch documents and any related information to the authorised representatives. If these change, you need to notify Lee & Thompson in writing.
Pitch Protection is free to members of the Alliance. To learn more about pitch protection contact email@example.com