Inventors are frequently afraid someone will steal their idea. Some paranoia is good. Too much is crippling. You have to find a balance between protecting your idea and being able to get your idea incorporated into a tangible product that you can get to the marketplace.
Here are some guidelines:
1. You can talk in general terms about your project without giving an “enabling disclosure”. An enabling disclosure would be when you give enough information for someone else to make the product.
2. If you want or need to talk about the details, use a non-disclosure agreement or a non-disclosure / non-compete agreement. This is your due-diligence, your responsibility.
3. Keep in mind that even though we have all heard stories about someone’s idea “being stolen”, most ideas are not stolen. Ideas are like belly buttons, everyone has one. People want to steal market share. It is your market share that you have to protect.