Help! Somebody Stole My Idea

Have you ever had a great idea? Of course you have! But have you taken steps to help protect it from theft? Maybe not.

There are different types of protection for different types of intellectual property. Registering trademarks and copyrights with the federal government provide significant benefits. However, owners of non-registered trademarks and copyrights also have valuable rights to their intellectual property, which may be asserted against infringers to stop infringement or to recover monetary damages for past infringement. This differs from rights possessed by inventors. The inventor of patent eligible subject matter generally cannot prevent others from practicing the invention unless a patent has been issued. If a patent is not a viable option, the owner of intellectual property may elect to maintain information as a trade secret. If steps are taken to protect the secrecy of the information, the trade secret owner may be entitled to monetary or injunctive relief if the information is ever stolen.

If your idea has been stolen, you may have the right to prevent others from using the idea or to receive monetary compensation for the use of your idea. Strategic intellectual property planning may help ensure that your intellectual property is protected and that others cannot steal your ideas.

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