The question arises of whether Ideas360 is a devious predatory operation by Shell, trawling for brain waves from bright but naive students unlikely to have the funds or wherewithal to sue if ideas are misappropriated.
By John Donovan
The Shell Ideas360 contest has been launched in Qatar, directed at university students. This is first time the scheme has been introduced into the Middle East.
According to an article published in the Gulf Times: The competition allows participants to develop their ideas into a “potentially investment-worthy” business case with the support of mentors and subject matter experts.
A Shell spokesperson says: “The Shell Ideas360 is a great platform that will enable Qatar’s university students to collaborate with students from all around the world and develop game-changing ideas.”
Students are being targeted with all manner of hype and enticements, including $1,000 prizes in the USA, to submit their ideas to Shell, presumably in the belief that Shell can be trusted.
From my perspective, claiming as I do, the world championship in successfully suing Shell for the theft of ideas, and being aware of more recent and current claims against Shell for alleged IP theft, I feel compelled to warn students and everyone else, about trusting Shell.
The question arises of whether Ideas360 is a devious predatory operation by Shell trawling for brain waves from bright but naive students unlikely to have the funds or wherewithal to sue if ideas are misappropriated.
If Shell wants to put the scheme on a proper ethical footing, giving students confidence to disclose ideas, it should offer a low cost binding independent arbitration service to settle any IP ownership/exploitation disputes arising from participation in the scheme. The arbitration could decide, in the event of a dispute, if an idea really is novel, practical, and has potential commercial value. Dependant on that assessment, it could then decide on what basis the inventor should be rewarded if the idea is exploited by Shell.