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Do I have to patent an idea before telling people about it?

I have a couple of products in mind and want to do some market research by asking some companies (local gyms, physiotherapists and sports retailers) some questions about these products. Right now, they are just ideas so if I go telling these people, do I run the risk of them stealing these ideas and if so, does that mean I have to patent them? And can you even patent an idea?

Asked By: - 9/24/2011
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Quick answers to your specific questions: (1) Yes, you run the risk of others stealing your ideas if you tell them without having first filed a patent. (2) Yes, you should at least file a provisional patent application. (3) No, you can't patent idea. You need to have something tangible (machine, composition, product... More
Answered By: Ray Meiers - 9/28/2011
Additional Answers (3)
Best $15 you will ever spend. Go to a bookstore and get a book How to create and patent your idea
Answered By: Huntsman - 9/24/2011
 
You can speak in somewhat general surveyors terms without giving away the critical details. Don't overlook the possibilities of selling a fitness product idea to an infomercial company, there are a surprising few businesses doing billions? in sales. The documentary "The greatest movie ever sold" visits a big... More
Answered By: Jake - 9/24/2011
 
You cannot patent an idea. You cannot copyright an idea. You can copyright a description of an idea, but that doesn't protect the idea - only your particular description. You can, however, patent a new and non-obvious invention that uses the idea. No, you cannot patent the invention after you have disclosed to anyone (... More
Source(s):
Answered By: bcnu - 9/26/2011
 
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