I am currently low on money and have no way of paying for a patent on a new device I have designed. However, I wish to spread my idea to a few others who may be willing to help me grow the concept and eventually develop it into a real thing.
In order to make sure that no one runs off with the idea, I have been considering using an NDA. While these are useful for large software firms with very specific modifications, a few of my changes that I have proposed are on the broader side. Thus, I was hoping that before I gave them the NDA that a few people would be able to look it over and help me determine if the proposed information that would be protected by the NDA is "too broad/vague."
Since I will not state the actual information that I am looking to protect with my NDA (for obvious reasons), I will give you the general idea of what I would be trying to protect. The description you hear is on par for both the level of detail and the level of originality the real device has. Imagine it being the same thing as the real one, but with different words.
"My new furnace doesn't use coal like most furnaces, instead, it uses chemical X. Moreover, chemical x is bonded with arsenic and turned into a molten fluid, which allows me to burn up the mixture 50% more efficiently. While molten fluid furnaces have been proposed, they've never used chemical x in them before.
Once the chemical x is burnt, helium is bubbled through at pressures around 5,000 psi to get the waste to become a gas, that way it bubbles out. It can react with magnesium to make a solid substance for disposal. Helium is known to react with way with most substances, however, I am the first to apply it to a liquid chemical x-arsenic waste mixture for the purpose of removing it from the furnace.
The heat produced by the furnace is taken to a ultra-pressurized sodium gas and sent to a vanadium turbine system. After this turbine system, it immediately goes to whatever needs to be heated up. This process for exchanging heat from the furnace to the target has been used before and is well known, but never when used with a molten fluid furnace before."
While most of this was not in legalese, it does give the general idea of how much detail I currently have about the design/concept as well as how original the concept is.
The thing I would be protecting is how all of these different parts would be used to make chemical x into a usable furnace fuel, not all of the little parts. I would like to stop people from taking my idea of "using a molten fluid mixture" for getting heat from chemical x and making their own furnace out of it. Since it is pretty general, I will keep the period to 3-5 years.
Thus, would this concept be something that I could protect using a unilateral patent/employee NDA?