Idea Submission Theft

Idea Submission and Theft

Idea submission and theft laws are another avenue to protect creative work. This area of law shares similarities to copyright law, but differs in substantial ways. Idea submission and theft laws protect the idea itself, whereas copyright law protects the expression of the idea. Importantly, whereas an idea’s creator can bring suit only against someone with whom he or she has a relationship or contract with (i.e. there is a legal obligation between both parties), a copyright infringement claim can be brought against anyone in the world who has access to the creator’s work. Though these distinctions become blurry when put into practice, idea submission and theft laws have its own set of elements to protect plaintiffs whose ideas do not reach the level of copyright protection.

The leading case in this area is Desney v. Wilder, 46 Cal. 2d 715 (1956). To establish an idea submission claim under Desney for breach of an implied-in-fact contract, the plaintiff must show that the plaintiff prepared the work, disclosed the work to the offeree for sale, and did so under circumstances from which it could be concluded that the offeree voluntarily accepted the disclosure knowing the conditions on which it was tendered and the reasonable value of the work.


At YMS, you get a team of trial lawyers with a combined experience of over 85 years looking at your case, ensuring the best course of action is taken.
What Makes Our Firm Different
  • Over 85 Years of Combined Experience
    At our firm, you can trust we have the experience to handle your case successfully. Each of our attorneys bring decades of experience practicing in the areas of employment and business litigation.
  • We Work as a Team
    At YMS, we believe collaboration is key to success. Working collectively with our clients ensures that every angle is explored in order to achieve the best results.
  • We Are Trial Attorneys
    Each of our attorneys has extensive experience litigating in a courtroom. We always try to settle outside of court, but if the case requires us to go, our team is prepared to do so.
  • Big-Firm Experience. Small-Firm Approach.
    Having previously worked at some of the largest law firms in the city, our attorneys can bring a high level experience to your case, yet keep the client-attorney relationship very personal.

Get Started Today

Free Initial Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.