QUESTION: How can we prevent manufacturer from making/selling our product behind our back while we have Provisional patent? I am about to reach out to a couple of manufacturers to make my product to sell, but I am unsure about their ethical conduct. And if I reach out to them before I have a Provisional patent issued, can they steal the idea?
ANSWER: It might be best to first file a provisional application before disclosing the invention to the manufacturer. But even if you do, the manufacturer can still steal the idea and you would not be able to sue for patent infringement with a provisional application. You would need an issued patent to sue for infringement