If I work for a company that I sold an idea to by pitching it to them and although nothing has happened yet, did I just lose my idea?

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If I work for a company that I sold an idea to by pitching it to them and although nothing has happened yet, did I just lose my idea?

Can they just steal it now and there’s nothing I can do?

Asked on April 30, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It's not stealing if you gave them the idea. And if you did not have them sign some nondisclosure or confidentiality agreeement before pitching the idea--that is, an agreement which prevents them from using the idea without you permission (which would generally mean without paying you an agreed-upon amount for it), then in pitching them the idea, you gave them the idea. Ideas are only protected by contract (that is, by an agreement) and not by law; if you tell someone an idea without having a protective agreement in place first, they can take, use, etc. it.


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