Q: Can a difference in mechanics of a product keep a company from recognizing that it was my idea 1st?
i have a product design that another company has marketed first. I can prove that I came up with the idea first. The other company's product does the exact same thing in the same way, only I am unsure as to it's inner mechanics making it do so. can that be enough for the other company to not have to recognize that it was my idea first?I, also, have an eco-friendly version that I think this company would be interested in licensing. How to proceed?
It does not matter whose idea it was. A person gets a patent on an invention, not on the idea. They could have come up with the idea subsequent to you, or they could have just copied your idea, it does not matter, you do not have any rights to protect.
The only way that you could sue them is if you disclosed an invention to them under a non-disclosure agreement, and they violated the agreement.
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