Question: Is the only way to protect an Idea for a new product with a patent?

I have an idea for a piece of jewelry that could potentially become a business. I work with a woman that has a degree in art with emphasis on jewelry making. I think she could be a great help working out the design however I would not like her to steal my idea. Should I try to patent my idea before I talk to her?

 Answer: Rather than a patent, perhaps you should give consideration to filing for copyright registration on the design. Instructions and forms for copyright can be found at www.copyright.gov