Under the strict reading of "avoiding" copying, rather than absolutely preventing copying, there is an answer. I doubt it's the answer the poster wants.
Step One: Don't have one big idea. First, understand the psychology of monkey-see, monkey-do copiers. They're generally lazy schemers looking for the easy road to success.
The copying Google's search engine means copying Google's success fallacy is a good example. Google's success isn't just the code, and that's the same with the secret formulas and whatnot of other products.
A successful product or service made of many well executed, innovative but smaller ideas is almost impossible to copy. People are bad system thinkers. They repeatedly fail to tease out anything but the more superficial and simple elements of complex systems.
Try as they might, they don't get it that a successful company is made up of quality personnel, insightful and customer focussed policies, and right on down to how the phones are answered and the way invoices are designed. Schemers don't want to hear that, they want the one "big idea."
The essence of their very motivation to copy makes it almost impossible for them to delve any deeper. Copiers look for shortcuts, and anything that doesn't look like a shortcut will be invisible to them.
Step Two: Human Factors, not technology. Technology is easy to copy. The human factors insights which make technology usable and desirable is exponentially harder.
Big ideaism practically demands secrecy and development in a user free vacuum. Consequently the big idea is only successful in the inventor's head.
And herein lies the requisite for human factors: Fall out of love with your idea. Fall in love with changing it to fit your market. Again, this is something most schemers can't contemplate. They would rather fail than harm their precious big idea.
Fall in love with markets, then develop something wonderful for them. Don't fall in love with the clever trick you can do with Java or PHP. Most of your competitors would sooner chew off a leg than do a user test -- so become an innovator in user testing your product or service.
[iPhone Launch, AT&T Vs. Apple Store Exact same gadget, yet [URL="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/09/04/apple_store_iphone_sales_outshine_att_by_seven_to_one.html"]Apple store iPhone sales outshine AT&T by seven to one. It's not the technology. Stop looking there. Based on technology, Apple failed and went out of business a decade ago. [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300-page_iPhone_bill"]Here's how AT&T handles your iPhone bill.](http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/a-tale-of-two-companies/iphone-launch-att-vs-apple-store-273978.php) When your shockingly bad understanding of human factors goes viral, you're doing it wrong.