It sounds like you need a patent. Most patents are actually for slight improvements of already known inventions. For example drug companies make billions of dollars from making small chemical tweaks to their drugs in order to file new patents.
You can take the risk and not filing a patent and see if the company will sign a non-disclore agreement but in my experience many will refuse to do this.
If you really think this idea has potential you could write and file your own provisional patent application for $125. On my website I offer a free provisional patent template.
Let me know if you have questions.
---Registered USPTO patent agent with 11+ years of patent filing experience. Filed over 500 patent applicaiton in many technology areas. Check out my website: http://patentfile.org
I have a widget that really doesn't have any patent potential (at least I'm pretty sure it doesn't.) But it has a twist on a existing product that makes it suitable for a new market in a way that the existing product simply does not. (Let's pretend it's a GPS unit but my idea is a tamper-proof mounting bracket that attaches to a kids bike so parents can log their kids biking locations... This is NOT the idea, just the concept for while it really isn't patentable.)
Now what do I do? I'm split on licensing versus producing. But I'm a little (very) timid on doing either because I don't have any real protection. Is an inventors notebook good enough (I read somewhere, I write out everything then have people unrelated to me sign it saying their read it on such and such date to prove the created date.)
There is current brand that produces a line of products similar to what I'd like to produce. But I think this product has huge potential (like becoming OEM equipment in cars) and I don't know what to do and how to pursue it.
Thanks in advance,