Can I sue the manufacturer if they sell a car part that I designed? 4 Answers as of November 16, 2011

If I don't have a patent for a car part I designed and I send it to a manufacturer to make for me to sell, could I sue the company if they try to steal my design to use as their own?

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DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
You'd better contact an IP attorney with the details. From what you describe, you may have some rights but it's not clear what. The timing of the events (were they recent?) may be important.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/16/2011
Yang & Wang, P.C.
Yang & Wang, P.C. | Tommy Wang
Did you sign any kind of confidentiality agreement with them? If not, then you would most likely need a patent to protect your interests.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2011
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
If you send unsolicited information to a company without an NDA, they can use your design. You should have protected it with at least a provisional application using software such as Provisional Builder or other software and protect your idea for a few hundred dollars. Alternatively, you could have asked for a confidentiality agreement to be signed first before you send them your design.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2011
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Maybe. It depends on the contract you had with the manufacturer. Without a written contract you will have an uphill battle
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/10/2011
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