Can I sue if a business partner takes ideas from a business we both created and implements it into their own business while scrapping ours?

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Can I sue if a business partner takes ideas from a business we both created and implements it into their own business while scrapping ours?

Started a business idea and took it to local investors/business owners. We split
my idea equally. I spent hundreds of hours on the idea and created the
foundation. They want to cancel the business as a brand and just implement all
the ideas and assets to their business they had previously. This entails them
making me an employee for them under their business and losing all percentages I
owned of the brand I created. Now I own zero percent and they are still using all
my assets. If they end up firing me for pressuring the issue, can I sue?

Asked on September 24, 2019 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Did you have any sort of confidentiality or other contract that prevented them from taking and using this idea for their own benefit? If you did, you can sue them for breaching the agreement, to get compensation and/or a court order barring them from doing this.
Without a contract though, ideas as are not protected, and anyone you disclose an idea to, including someone you were going to work with, can take the idea and develop or use it themself.


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