As a Texas inventor, you might think that coming up with the idea was the easy part by the time you address all of the initial legal issues surrounding your invention. While either your patent is pending or you receive your patent, it would be nice to believe that you are done with the legalities. However, patent law outlines additional steps that need to be taken in order to safeguard your intellectual property rights.
For instance, like most Texas inventors, you might not have the capital necessary to manufacture your product. You will need to collaborate with a company that has the resources and capability of doing so for you. If you want to protect your patent, you should strongly consider negotiating and entering into a manufacturing agreement that outlines each of your rights and responsibilities. If you do not yet have your patent in hand, you are within your rights to request a nondisclosure agreement with the manufacturer as well in order to help prevent the manufacturer from violating your rights.
The function of a patent is to protect your rights to your idea or invention. If you are willing to go through this arduous process to do so, then these and other additional steps could be required. Without additional protections, the manufacturer could use your ideas without compensating you for it. Your idea or invention is your intellectual property, and it should be protected to the fullest extent of the law. This might include having to go to court or otherwise resolve disputes with other individuals or companies that might infringe upon your patent rights.
Even if the manufacturer attempts to give you assurances that your intellectual property rights under current patent law are protected and will not be violated, ask for those promises in writing. A written contract provides you with much better evidence than an oral agreement. If necessary, you can pursue restitution for breaches of any agreements or infringements of your patent.