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Network: May 1992

Network new queries.

Network readers often ask how to protect an invention while presenting it to manufacturers. The author of our first question asks about that, too, but first: where does he find those companies he has to protect himself from?

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Sugar Daddy
My company has developed a new product for the PC market. Much as we'd love to, we lack the resources and experience to market the product nationally. So we intend to license it to a large company. How do we go about that? Is there a resource we could use to find potential buyers? And how do we protect our idea when no big company wants to sign a nondisclosure agreement?

J. Michael Crawford


Solo Computer Systems

Clinton, N.J.

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Hot Coffee
In October 1990 I began publishing Roadside, a quarterly newspaper devoted to the American diner. It has become a full-time job -- 42,000 copies are distributed free to diners and by subscription, and the paper had slightly less than $30,000 in advertising revenues last year. Most of our advertising comes from diners. I'd like to begin attracting larger regional and even national advertisers. How do I appeal to them? And will that further my real ambition -- to save the crown jewels of the American roadside?

Randolph Garbin


Coffee Cup Publications

Watertown, Mass.

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Return of the Living Deadbeat
I did some independent consulting for a merchant bank a year and a half ago. When it subsequently closed its doors, it paid all its employees and officers, but it didn't pay me. I won a decision against it in small-claims court. (Its representatives didn't show up.) At that time the company hadn't filed for bankruptcy protection, but the judge said I probably wouldn't collect until the partners resurfaced.

Recently I called the old phone number, and someone answered with the old company's name. How do I determine whether these are the same people who stiffed me for $3,000, and how do I get paid?

Name Withheld

Last updated: May 1, 1992

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