Being an entrepreneur involves thinking and coming up with remarkable ideas that can solve problems in everyday settings, whether at work or home. Much work goes into this idea, and you hope you can breathe some life into it one day.

Unfortunately, there are difficulties along the way, and there is none worse than someone stealing your business idea. When someone steals your idea and actualizes it, they take it entirely away from your grasp, leaving you with empty hands.

In this article, we discuss six common cases of stolen ideas to give you an idea of how it could happen and how you can remain protected.

1. Stealing Startup Ideas

A typical case that shows how startup ideas can be stolen is Silicon Valley’s Steve Blank. Someone posed as a customer and then took a hard copy of his slide deck. The next thing this ‘client’ did was take the idea and put a different logo on it. He then began to raise a seed round to the detriment of its original owner.

As if that was not enough, the thief launched the final product before Steve could do it. Thankfully, the competitor launched an idea whose hypothesis was conceived nine months before, and the insight that Steve had was more recent. With more in-depth, better knowledge of what clients wanted, Steve and his company were able to prove their hypotheses, and they were working with facts, unlike the idea thief. Eventually, the unworthy competitor shut down.

2. Creation of Copycat Apps

There have been cases of people stealing and copying app ideas as well, for instance, in Timo Rein, the co-founder of Pipedrive. His customer residing in another country copied his app’s elements, including the UX, software, and front-end codes.

Just like in the case of Blank, sign-ups to the app did not slow down, even in the competitor’s country. This shows that even if your idea is stolen, you are still at an advantage.

However, it does not mean that you should not do anything to help yourself. Professionals from recommend that you get protection for any of your intellectual property. Patent attorneys can monitor infringing inventions and defend any infringement actions. This kind of protection is vital for your business if you know that it will pay off in the long run.

3. Copying Visions

Facebook is one of the biggest social networking sites that exist today. However, it did not start all rosy. The Winklevoss twins needed programming talent to help them build the Harvard Social network. They hired Mark Zuckerberg to help them with the project.

Interestingly, he concurrently was working on the Harvard app that Zuckerberg got the Facebook idea. He developed his Facebook app and only finished the Winklevoss project after launching Facebook.

This caused problems, and the twins sued Zuckerberg for stealing their idea, but they eventually lost for a $65 million settlement.

4. Shared Ideas

As you start on your project, you may share your idea with your friends or family. However, this sharing may sometimes do more harm than good.

Sharing ideas with friends can lead to them stealing it and implementing it. When a person implements your concept, it is still possible to implement it.

5. Sloppy NDAs

Non-disclosure agreements are legal documents that bind the parties in a project not to release details of a project to anybody without permission. If the terms of your non-disclosure agreement are not clear or you are working with a company that is not credible, your idea can be stolen. Ensure that the company you are working with is reasonable to avoid such risks.

6. Failing to Trademark your Idea

As you develop your business ideas, be sure to trademark your business idea to prevent theft and reuse icons, logos, and symbols associated with your vision. You can also trademark the features and services of your business as protection. Trademarking helps protect your business but is also an essential part of brand recognition, and your rivals will not be able to counterfeit.

Having a brilliant business idea is an excellent way to start developing something remarkable. However, there are instances in which these ideas can be stolen, and that can be devastating. Such examples include failing to trademark ideas, writing sloppy NDAs, sharing ideas, copying visions, creating copycat apps, and stealing startup ideas.

Before you start realizing your business idea, try and find the best way to protect your intellectual property, so you don’t end up with empty hands. And if something like that happens, hiring the help of patent attorneys can help you avoid inconveniences associated with the theft of business ideas.