Ideas are valuable, and this is well understood by Bill Larson, Intellectual Property Attorney of Larson & Larson of Pinellas County, Florida. Fox 13 Tampa Bay recently consulted with Larson after an eleven-year-old girl from Polk County had her design ideas for Furby toys rejected by Hasbro, only to find them on store shelves six months later.

“What they need to know, and what everybody needs to know, is you need to use the laws to protect yourself,” Larson told Fox 13. “And if you don’t, then you have no excuse to complain later that somebody took your idea.”

Bill Larson shares the experience of representing Dan McLaughlin, Clearwater businessman, back in the ‘90s when McLaughlin came to Larson for a patent for Gold Effects—a gold plating system. Since then Larson & Larson has successfully patented a number of inventions for McLaughlin.

“If it had not been for the patent,” says Larson. “His machine would have been replicated by all kinds of companies and destroyed the market for him.”

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