Centre for Content Promotion

Before you pitch it, PitchMark it!  Let your clients get the idea, but not steal it.

Before you pitch it, PitchMark it! Let your clients get the idea, but not steal it.

by CCP — 5 October 2022

Imagine you’re an inventor, or an entrepeneur, and you have an idea – maybe its a business plan – and you’re looking for investors.  Or maybe you’re a musical composer and you see that an advertising agency is soliciting bids for a new product jingle.  You communicate with someone and they say “send it over so we can take a look“. 

But they’re unwilling to sign an Non-Disclosure or Non-Use Agreement and you don’t want to stop the process there.  Or maybe you don’t even want to ask them to do that because it spoils the mood.  So you put your faith in hopes and prayers that you don’t get ripped off.

Nothing comes of it, maybe the client never responds or they say they’re not interested – but then later on you see its been used.  You confront the investor and they deny everything.  So how do you protect yourself?

With PitchMark, you can still forego the NDA but still flag to the prospective client that you’ve staked a claim of ownership in the idea, that you are aware of your rights and you’re ready to enforce them if necessary.  You’re flagging to the client, up front, that this is your stuff and not yet theirs – it’s not free for the taking. 

 Mark Laudi, PitchMark’s founder, tells us more.


 Does PitchMark take the place of an NDA, or substitute for other forms of registration? Are there a bunch of forms and costs, and do I need an attorney? 

PitchMark isn’t intended as a substitute or a replacement for traditional IP registrations.  PitchMark is instead a cost-effective (i.e. free) tool intended to help minimize the risk of IP infringement by signifying to anyone involved in its chain of distribution that the creator is aware of their rights and is prepared/able to protect and enforce them with the help of counsel. That should be helpful to lawyers acting on innovators‘ behalf by helping to establish time-and-place evidence of creative possession.  But unlike traditional registrations PitchMark is a private service operating in in real time allowing innovators to assert their ownership claims upon the idea’s creation.  It doesn’t require myriad forms and applications that are sent off to government offices for review or approval at a hefty cost; you can obtain a PitchMark cetificate on your own, immediately, for free.

How does PitchMark work for someone who has just created some original IP?

First you register yourself, for free, as a PitchMark innovator.  After signing  up and in, you can submit your created work by means of a drag-and-drop feature and an “upload now“ button that will immediately generate a unique, individually enumerated, date-stamped PitchMark Certificate along with other important information for your client that you can download as a zipped file.  A corresponding link to the uploaded file will also appears on your individual PitchMark profile.  Then you send either that zipped file, or a link to it, to you prospective client(s).

What kinds of things can be PitchMarked?  Are there any particular creative sectors that PitchMark is aimed towards?

Just about anything you can create can be PitchMarked, whether its the expression of an idea or a concept, a graphic design or a storyboard, a powerpoint presentation, a music file, a photograph, moving imagry, a drawing or a sketch, or even just an idea.  There’s no distinction on the type of file that can be submitted (pdf’s, powerpoints, word documents, jpegs, photoshop files and digital audio files of all types are all fine).  Any creator, regardless of their particular field, can and should use PitchMark to help promote and protect their works.

If I was an inventor, why would I register with PitchMark and not try to patent my idea?

PitchMark isn’t intended as a substitute or a replacement for traditional IP registrations; it is instead a cost-effective (i.e. free) supplemental tool intended to help minimize the risk of IP infringement by signifying to anyone involved in its chain of distribution that the creator is aware of their rights and is prepared and able to protect and enforce them with the help of counsel.  If you had a commercially viable invention that you wanted to monetize, you’d likely still try to register for patent protection at some point.

How effective is PitchMark in preventing infringement?

PitchMark isn’t a technological fix that prevents infringement, it’s simply a tool that helps deter infringement by building awareness that its users know how to, and are equipped to, respond to infringement by enforcing their rights.  Its an explicit, visible indicator, as recognizable as an Underwriters Laboratory seal of approval on an appliance, that the marked product or content is “fit for purpose“ – in this case submission for consideration, as a pitch – and should be considered by everyone as such.

 Is PitchMark designed just for creators, or are there benefits to businesses as well?

The PitchMark community includes innovators (i.e., creators seeking buyers or investors) as well as clients, or the businesses who solicit or review the creators’ ideas for consideration.  Registered members in either capacity signal their agreement to abide by PitchMark’s prescribed terms and conditions, which include among other things a commitment to utilizing and respecting individuals’ creations subject to their authorization and not in any other way.  We encourage businesses to adopt and embrace the PitchMark Pledge as a means to signal back (to creators) their intention to respect – and not infringe – creators’ rights.  In order to further confirm clients’ respect for creators’ content we also make available a PitchMark IP Audit program that they can license from us, to implement simple and transparent operative solutions intended to ensure that creators’ works won’t go astray or get used without their consent.

What about lawyers?

Lawyers play an essential role in the PitchMark community as intermediaries between Innovators (creators) and Clients (businesses).  We have almost 1,000 registered innovators, all of whom will likely need legal representation for some reason at some point of time.  We curate a list of IP lawyers around the world who are available to them to provide advice and counsel.  By registering with PitchMark, lawyers can highlight themselves to a bespoke group of creators and hopefully build business relationships that can last their entire careers.  It may be that certain PitchMark innovators will need for representation because their intellectual property has been infringed and they seek to enforce their rights.  Or maybe innovators are seeking counsel for representation in business negotiations or career development.  But what many of our innovators have in common is not knowing where to go, or how to go about, finding lawyers they can deal with and who understand their needs, so that’s an important part of what we’re trying to provide through PitchMark.

What, exactly, do lawyers get by signing up?

Opportunities to showcase themselves to our registered Innovators through an extensive biographical profile, as well as relevant written or video content they can submit for circulation through our website and various social media channels.  We regularly sponsor and organize IP conferences, workshops and webinars providing extensive exposure to local and international audiences.

You characterized PitchMark as a community.  What all does it do?

PitchMark isn’t just the certificate; it’s a group of creators, businesses, and lawyers conversant with intellectual property rights and pledged to respect them.  Together we create and curate a lot of content to educate the public about creativity and the importance of protecting it.  We raise awareness by participating in a variety of professional conferences, seminars, and workshops around the world.  For example last year we sponsored the International Association of Intellectual Property Attorneys (AIPPI) 2021 World Congress and presented six hours of interviews with leading IP experts and business executives around the world.  We also presented PitchMark during last year’s World Intellectual Property Forum and will be doing so again in Bangkok later this year.  Our website and social media channels (YouTube, etc) are curated with news and videos from around the world highlighting the legal aspects of creative appropriation.    As the world continues to emerge from the Pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, we’ll be even more active in localized social outreach and networking events for the creative community.

You‘re a Singapore-based company. What if I were an inventor sitting in the US or the UK?

PitchMark is a global service and community open to innovators, clients, and counsel anywhere in the world.  Though based in Singapore with a solid foundation throughout Asia, we’re building out PitchMark’s network every day.  So far we have registered innovators from 39 different countries around the world.  PitchMark should be particularly attractive to the US and UK markets, given the degree and scope of business (and advertising) there.

Thanks for all of that, Mark!  So how can our readers get in touch with you?

They can access the website at www.pitchmark.net and interact with us there, or at our offices in Singapore, or through email sent to service@pitchmark.net