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How do I legally protect a concept or an idea

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I have created a program that supports student athletes academically and helps to promote a positive self concept. Others are interested in copying the model.
Based on the facts as you have stated them, if your ideas have been fixed into tangible form (a book/manual/hardcopy) your program can be copyright protected. Copyright protection is governed by title 17 of the US Copyright law. It does not matter whether your work is published or not, so long as it is expressed in a book or manual.

The idea itself can be protected under a patent. With a patent, you protect the creation of your idea from others to sell or copy without your consent. The US Patent and Trademark office would assist you further with the law and process. Click here for more information.

So again, the copyright would be for the book or hardcopy where your idea has been affixed and the patent would be to protect the idea itself.

As these issues are complex you are advised to consult with an intellectual property attorney to protect your interests. You can also try to to assist you with the filing of the paperwork. Legalzoom is an excellant service provided by attorneys in the field you are interest in and can provide brief consultation to see if the service you request is the right option.
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