QUESTION: I have an idea for a new invention, in order to begin to prototype, I would have to hire a company to have it be made. Being that there are multiple manufacturers out there, I know that I may have to discuss my idea during each consultation I have. Is there something I can do to ensure they won’t run off with my idea if I decide to not work with them?

ANSWER: At least use a non-disclosure agreement with the companies. And better yet, also file a provisional patent application before starting your discussions.