Lusby, MD asked in Business Law, Contracts and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland

Q: What can I do if I believe my idea from invention company was stolen?

Beginning in Nov 2003 (approx) I started working with Davison Inventions. I eventually received a prototype of my idea, which I still have to prove that I had this idea and production in the works. We worked on this for quite some time--I have paperwork from Mr Sawyer to 3 different addresses because I had moved throughout the process. Thousands of dollars later, I do not know what happened as I was going through a family crisis by that time. Fast forward to why I am contacting you...I came across an ad on Facebook last week and it was my idea! I looked for my documents from Davison and I seem to have most of the documents that were mailed to me regarding my invention idea and production. I noticed the ad with the product of my same idea says, patent pending. I believe my idea could have been stolen--perhaps prototypes and documents were compromised, sold, or stolen by the company. Is there something I can do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: It is very serious to accuse someone of stealing an idea. It does happen but you need to have your facts all lined up.

As your fact pattern did not include that you obtained a patent, you cannot sue for patent infringement. (yet).

You need to take all the relevant documents to an attorney with the right skill sets. Someone will need to sort out whether someone else simply had the same good idea that you did. Happens all the time. Necessity is the mother of invention and she can have more than one child. So it could be that no one did anything wrong and you just lost out as you did not get a patent filed before someone else came up with the same good idea.

If people took your idea and filed a patent without your consent, then you may be able to get the patent corrected to show you as the real inventor and then you would own the patent. This is not easy or common but it is an option under US patent law.

If you find out that the invention company misused your disclosure, you can report them to the relevant state and also to the USPTO. But that is not your first set of actions.

I do not handle litigation so I am not part of your answer. I hope you find someone good.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

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