I would like to ask the participants basically give up the rights to their ideas and IP under the rule of this competition posted here?

While 14.b states that:

b. ...all Intellectual Property Rights... originally created and owned by Participant... (“Participant Materials”) will vest solely with the Participant...

14.e and f states that:

e. Participant hereby grants QTI ... a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, fully paid up, royalty-free,... transferable license... for any purpose whatsoever and without any restriction of any kind, under all Intellectual Property Rights that Participant owns or controls, the Participant Materials. Participant will execute any further documentation requested by QTI or any of its affiliates as any such entity may deem necessary to give full effect to the foregoing rights.

f. Participant acknowledges that:

(ii) ideas, concepts, strategies may be competitive with, similar to, or identical to content in the Proposal or Participant Materials... Participant acknowledges and agrees that Participant will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of any use by QTI or its affiliates of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to QTI, or any of its affiliates, from other sources... each Participant acknowledges and agrees that... Qualcomm... will [not] now or in the future have any duty or liability... with respect to the infringement or protection of the Participant’s Intellectual Property Rights in and to its Proposal or Participant Materials. The Participant further acknowledges that, ... actual or alleged exploitation or use of any Proposal or Participant Material submitted... will not be irreparable or otherwise sufficient to entitle the Participant to seek any injunctive or other equitable relief...

Finally, 17 states that:

QTI may cancel, modify, or suspend the Competition, or modify these Official Rules (or any portion thereof or hereof) in its sole discretion, including without limitation due to a force majeure event, without any further obligation or liability. Any modifications made to these Official Rules will be made effective when posted on the Competition website or otherwise made available to Participants, and each Participant hereby acknowledges and agrees that any such modifications will be binding on the Participant.

While it is stated that Qualcomm will not claim ownership of the idea submitted or any IP that may arise from it, Qualcomm ends up having to right to use and license/sublicense the Participant Materials. The rules seem to suggest Qualcomm can basically use the idea and compete against it. Am I right to think that the participants basically give up the rights to their ideas? Thanks.

  • "Am I right to think that the participants basically give up the rights to their ideas?:" Yes. I personally would NOT participate in anything like this. This feels very exploitative. You sign away all rights to IP without any right to compensation (other than $2500 for an actual patent filing) – Hilmar Mar 12 at 14:19
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    With respect to paragraph 17, it seems to be generally accepted in most jurisdictions that an agreement to agree to future terms that are not yet specified is void. So that last clause ("each Participant hereby acknowledges and agrees that any such modifications will be binding on the Participant") is meaningless. – phoog Mar 13 at 4:51

There's a key phrase you omitted from your quote of 14(e):


Qualcomm gets pretty much unlimited rights to use content submitted as part of the contest, but those rights are not granted exclusively. Contest participants are still free to make use of their submissions in almost any way they want, so long as that use doesn't involve granting an exclusive license.

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Participants keep all the rights to their Ip. They just give the competition organizer basically the same rights they have themselves.

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  • Basically but not actually. E.g. Participant can grant a transferable, for-money, sub-licensable license to other parties. QTI cannot. – user6726 Mar 13 at 15:25

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