Denver, CO asked in Contracts, Business Law and Consumer Law for Colorado

Q: Is it legal to have people sign a non-compete when testing out a dating method? Please read more for details.

I've developed a method that deals with males addressing anxiety issues and other common inhibitions when it comes to approaching and talking with females in a fun, flirty or romantic nature. I've begun trial runs and things are going well. The girls I'm using for the males to work with (the girls will be future employees or contractors for the company) have all signed a non-complete/non-disclosure agreement. But I'm wondering if it's legal and/or appropriate to request the "test run males" sign non-competes. So in the testing stage (where I'm trying to gathering referrals and testimonials) I'd like to protect my method as best as possible because this looks to be a winning formula and copy cats may emerge quickly. Additionally, I want to charge the "test run males" a minimal $20 per hour so I can pay the female. So this brings up an additional issue of can you have the male sign the agreement when they're also paying money for the service. Thx

1 Lawyer Answer
D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: The non-competes would be very difficult to enforce under Colorado law. The "test run males" are not working for you they are the customers.Non-competes can't be enforced against customers, you can't stop someone from using another firms services. You could ask them to sing non-disclosure agreements but again they are difficult to enforce. I'm making an assumption you have a legitimate business method and we're not talking about prostitution. If it is a truly new and unique method you would need to file for a patent. I would suggest taking this idea to a patent attorney to discuss in confidentiality.

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