Intellectual Property Law
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No. There was not an NDA, but the fact that we've sold the program for five months - including twice on their show - and its been published on the web in various incarnations should make it our intellictual property, shouldn't it? Plus, they basically stole the whole outline and theme. It's the same program top down, just with a different guy doing it.
You've got to read the copy. They stole phrases and words we've been using.
Thank you for your follow-up, Jarrad.If you never formally copyrighted the program and provided it to them, they can argue that you transferred the license over to them for their own use (at least that is what they can potentially argue if your idea came to them essentially unprotected). There must still be a claim or some direct link stating that this was 'yours' and not meant to have been shared or disseminated with others. Your own words or comments--that IS your intellectual property, and that cannot be used without your permission...but using a program whose design was never patented, protected, or copyrighted is a bit of a different story. The same goes for the outline and the theme--if you never protected it or stated that this was yours and you did not wish to transfer any rights to anyone else, they could potentially take the idea, re-brand it, and get someone else to pursue it. You can still file a 'cease and desist' against them, but without any evidence that the information was supposed to have been kept as yours, they have legal wiggle room to claim that they were not infringing. As for how to file for a cease and desist, that is not a petition--you send them a letter, usually via an attorney, demanding that they cease. If they fail to do so, you retain counsel and file against them for damages and also seeking an injunction, which is a temporary stay order blocking them from selling this new product on their own.Good luck.
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