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Was my idea stolen by Edison Nation reviewer?

lilbeeville's Avatar

I just saw my idea on NBC Channel 2 news! The idea and scope matches mine to close not to wonder. My idea was denied on May 19, 2018 Stage 4 research and design. The "Back Seat" App was introduced in May 14th. Should I consult an Attorney? 

Salty Link
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magurn's Avatar

Hi Johnetta,

Your idea was most certainly not "stolen" by an Edison Nation team reviewer.

A few key points:

1. All Edison Nation employees are subject to very strict confidentiality agreements as a part of our employment at the company.

2. Your idea was declined at Stage 4 which means that it never went to presentation or was shown outside our company. A stage 4 decline is likely due to either mass marketability or competitors in the space. Without providing any details regarding your idea as these are public forums, the idea was declined because of existing products.

3. From a timing standpoint, as you just submitted your idea in mid-May of this year, it is not feasible for a product to be developed, finalized, pitched to a news station and shown within three weeks.

It is possible that the idea you submitted was in response to a larger issue that others have already worked to solve. This blog post can outline additional details: https://blog.edisonnation.com/2015/04/is-it-possible-someone-else-has-the-same-idea/

All of this being said, if you still have concerns, you're welcome to send us an email directly per our infringement policy outlined within the forum rules:

  • If you have infringement concerns around an idea you submitted, please send an email to questions@edisonnation.com outlining the details of your submission and a link of the existing product. We'll review within 24-48 business hours and respond back via email.

Hope this clarifies and thank you,


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magurn's Avatar

One additional comment - upon further review, here is a full story outlining the backstory of the development of the app:


Karen C Adams
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lilbeeville's Avatar
I know EN really did nothing underhanded. My post was a knee jerk reaction to the shock of seeing the product online and hearing their selling points that matched mine to a close extent. My apologies to EN and the contributors to this forum. I will rethink my Spark and continue to expand on it. Thank you for your prompt response. JJ
Karen C Adams
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magurn's Avatar

Hi Johnetta,

Thank you for your comment. Edison Nation takes all infringement claims very seriously. Glad you were able to find some clarification.

In general folks, beyond providing the most chances for commercialization success for your ideas, protecting the intellectual property of our innovators is our main goal. Edison Nation IS its innovators and it is our goal to earn and maintain the trust of our community and keep our platform secure.

Best of luck to all!

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gizmo's Avatar

Accusations like this are exactly why Companies don't want to deal with people off the street with ideas. Potential Legal Issues 

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gru's Avatar

I don't believe that EN would steal an idea. It makes little sense to do so. Word would get out and inventors would stop submitting to them and inventors are their bread and butter. 

Fact is that if you're a good inventor, sooner or later you're going to come across ideas that have already been done. I've had many ideas like that such as making a hook for grabbing springs and unhooking them while working on a lawnmower. Guess what? Already been invented. 

I also invented cardboard cat box that cats love to sleep in. Sure enough there are a ton of them on the market. Maybe not mass produced like I was planning but getting any kind of protection for the idea was out of the question. 

I think that finding out that what you just created is already out there on the market is actually a good thing. It could mean that your ideas have market potential and if you come up with an idea that hasn't been invented yet, you can somewhat assume that it does have marketability.

Another thing you have to consider is that there are many different methods of protecting an idea. If I'm correct, your idea was an app. Apps are typically protected by copyright if I'm not mistaken and I don't know if they really qualify as an invention. It's kinda like giving EN an idea for a book and they then have to get the writer to write it, then the copyright, then find a publisher for it. 

I feel it's very important for every inventor to understand creator protection like patents, trademarks, and copyrights so that you can help EN understand your invention and possibly even save them some money protecting your idea. 

For instance, let's suppose I have an idea that only requires about 3 design patents and one copyright. Much, much cheaper than a single utility patent because design patents only require drawings and will offer much more protection because design patents have a far less chance of being rejected. 

Telling EN that from the get-go will help them with protecting the idea, save money, and get more revenue from the invention than they would've gotten had they pursued a utility patent. 

I hope this helps.

Michelle Sartori
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brettc's Avatar

Because inspiration stems from the state of technology and culture overall, it's common that others are developing the same concepts as you are. This has happened to me multiple times when I thought of an idea, did nothing with it, then saw that exact product in the market a few months later. Serendipitous, but I believe it's also a good indicator that you're thinking in the right way and your ideas are genuinely valuable. 

Kristina Poindexter
Robert Pontius
Michelle Sartori
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