Its never a great feeling being a patent attorney and hearing from someone who wants to protect their innovative product because its selling really well.
But why could this possibly be bad?
One of the absolute requirements of gaining a patent is “novelty”. Not as in whoopee cushion novelty, but as in “new”. An invention for a patent must be new at the time of filing i.e. it cannot have been publicly disclosed prior to filing. So the in the scenario above, the innovative product probably does not qualify as being “new” in patent law. It may have been disclosed in a way that allows someone to recreate it.
Usually something can be done if the person acts quickly: it may not be a “full enabling disclosure” and we can still file for valid protection; a few countries (most notably the USA) allow a grace period for disclosures not to be taken into account which may be of use; a grace period exists in design registration which may be of use in protecting the product; a trade mark registration may be taken out to protect the goodwill being generated in the brand being used to sell the product; etc. There is usually some way that we can help protect it.
So who can you tell about your idea? Preferably us in the first instance so why not contact us for a no cost, no obligation consultation to determine what can and should be done before its too late.