My answer to How can I prevent someone from stealing my startup idea before getting a patent?
Answer by Raad Ahmed:
One good way to protect your startup idea is through nondisclosure agreements, which are just confidentiality contracts between you and anyone that is exposed to your secret. These types of agreements are common in startups because it lets them disclose their secret to a small group of outsiders without worrying about that small group spreading the secret.
If you are awarded a patent, the protection will go back to the date that you filed the application, however it’s difficult to seek damages from an infringer between that period of application and grant if they are without notice of your invention. Another thing – it’s important to keep in mind you can’t patent an idea. A patent is to protect a product, process or machine. So you would need to develop your idea into one of those before applying for a patent.
I would suggest that you speak with an attorney to determine your best options to protect your idea. At LawTrades our attorneys have experience writing and enforcing nondisclosure agreements. Visit ourto see how we can help you!