You have a great idea and you are ready to take the next step and have a prototype built. This may require the expertise of a draftsman, engineer, or manufacturing house, maybe even an investor. While the best way to protect any invention is often a patent, there may be considerations that prevent filing for a patent before you have to share your idea with other people. When it is not possible to file a patent before telling somebody about your invention, you should have a well drafted non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place before sharing any information. The signing of an NDA is standard practice in these types of situations and can help ensure that you protect your idea and preserve the ability to file for patent protection when the time is right. The NDA should be tailored to your situation and identify the information that is protected. Disclosing details of your invention without an NDA in place puts you at risk of losing protection for your product.