Ford Motor Company also takes a substantial risk when we review non-patented ideas from outside of the Company. A mere idea is not valuable until a significant amount of money is invested developing it, so we must be extremely cautious about which ideas receive funds. In addition, ideas that are submitted to the company may already be disclosed in prior literature and patents, may have been previously considered or already developed by us, or we may be developing an idea that is similar to your idea. This can cause confusion about the origin of the idea. We must be able to prove that our idea was developed independently of your idea.
Determining who developed what aspects of an idea can be a complex and time-consuming process involving hundreds of people. There is considerably less risk if we develop ideas from the people we employ. In fact the vast majority of the ideas used by Ford Motor Company originate with our employees or suppliers.
In order to review your idea and mitigate our risk, we developed the following rules and terms & conditions. If you would like us to review your idea, you must agree to them.
Please read the rules and terms & conditions carefully and contact your attorney before submitting ideas to the Company.
IDEA SUBMISSION RULES
Qualifications for review
In order to be considered, submissions must relate to products, manufacturing methods or machines that are used by Ford and its companies. Ideas that primarily relate to items purchased by Ford should be directed to Fords suppliers.
Also, you must agree to Idea Submission Terms & Conditions.
Submissions that will not be reviewed
Examples of ideas and suggestions that will not be considered are:
1. Confidential information of any type
2. Product styling or design
3. Product names, slogans or logos
4. Ways of conducting some part of the business
Please do not submit confidential information. Ford will not keep your idea confidential, as your idea will be copied and distributed to many people at Ford for evaluation. We do not wish to make your idea public, but there are a large number of Ford specialists that will review the idea, so it may be discussed with individuals outside of the company. If you would like to keep your materials confidential, do NOT send them to us. WE WILL NOT REVIEW CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.
Please note that if you have preliminary discussions with Ford employees or specialists, they are not authorized to accept information on a confidential or restricted basis.
You are free to submit your idea to other companies without informing us; however, we request that you do not disclose that Ford is considering your idea.
Ford Motor Companys Obligations
Ford agrees to review your idea when properly submitted via the Idea Submission Process, according to the Idea Submission Rules and under the Idea Submission Terms & Conditions. We have no obligation to use your idea.
In return for your acceptance of the Idea Submission Terms & Conditions, Ford Motor Company offers a non-confidential, preliminary evaluation of your submitted materials. We cannot discuss compensation during this preliminary evaluation. Following the preliminary evaluation, if we are interested in pursuing your project, you will be notified per Step 4 of The Process, "Evaluation and Response." At that time, we may be able to discuss additional terms such as compensation.
Ford Motor Company does not act in a consulting capacity. We are not obligated to provide you with an explanation for any decision the Company reaches. This applies to the original disclosure as well as to anything you later disclose, orally or in writing. We assume no obligation to tell you something we already knew or have discovered since you submitted your idea.
You must own the idea you are submitting. You cannot submit the idea of another person or party. The idea must be the original creation of the individual who signs the disclosure form and the signor must have the exclusive right to submit the idea to the company. Further, the signor must have the legal right to negotiate the idea with us and the power and authority to grant any and all rights in the material. This does not mean that you are granting any rights under a patent, which you already have or may obtain in the future, during this preliminary review.
Often, employers will require an employee to sign an employment contract. Some conditions of this contract may be that the company will own ideas related to their business. Please determine whether your employer owns the idea you are submitting. Ford cannot accept ideas that are in violation of an agreement or understanding with another party, such as your current or former employer.
You must be at least 18 years old.
As a global company, we prefer correspondences in English. We recognize that our business is conducted in several languages around the world, but our primary language for business transactions is English and the Consumer Innovation Office is located in Dearborn, Michigan USA. We rarely accept innovations in other languages, as this severely limits the distribution of your ideas within the Company.
IDEA SUBMISSION TERMS & CONDITIONS
I understand and agree to be bound to the following terms and conditions when I submit my idea to Ford Motor Company or its affiliates or subsidiaries (herein collectively referred to as "Ford").
I agree to follow the "Idea Submission Rules".
I am at least 18 years old.
I am the owner or authorized agent of the owner of the idea I am submitting to Ford.
The information I am submitting to Ford is true and correct.
I am not violating any agreement or understanding I have with another party, including my current or former employer.
I am aware that under the law of the United States and most foreign countries, I may be able to protect my idea through application for patents, trademarks, copyrights or maintain my idea as a trade secret by protecting it from non-confidential disclosure.
I am giving up all copyright and other intellectual property right claims (other than patent and trademark claims) I may have against Ford for copying, disclosing, evaluating or otherwise using my idea.
Ford is under no obligation to use my idea or to hold it in confidence.
I will not be compensated for ideas developed by Ford independent of the idea I submit to Ford.