If you came up with an idea or a plan for your employer and they took it, and then removed you from the project or the company, you'll want to hire an intellectual property lawyer. If they took something that came from your mind without the help of other people, that was an idea that belonged to you.
There are a few different details that will affect whether you have a case or not, so you'll have to meet with a lawyer before any evidence can be altered or destroyed. Here are a few things to bring with you when you meet with the lawyer for a consultation.
The lawyer will go through the contract to see if you signed an agreement saying they could have all of your ideas as long as you were employed by them, or that they had all of the rights to any projects that you started working on. They also may have had you sign a non-compete agreement, which means you couldn't take the idea anywhere else if you wanted to. You should be able to attain this even if you are no longer working there.
Proof the Idea Was Yours
Do you have proof that the idea was yours, like a trail of emails suggesting the project or talking about it with your co-workers? Can you show that you started designing or putting the plan together on your own laptop or at home on a desktop? These are things you're going to need to prove that you were the creator.
Evidence They Are Using It
The company may try to change the idea slightly or advertise it differently to make it seem like it wasn't the same idea as yours. Do you have proof that they are still using the idea, like email trails for the project or inside help from someone who still works at the company? Do they have a prototype for your idea? These are things that will help your case.
Your lawyer will have to work quickly, and they may be able to get a court order to have any development for the idea stopped, so that they don't continue to use, market or develop something that is legally yours. Don't let someone steal your ideas and your mental property for their own benefit, especially if they left you off the project or removed you from the company. If you're looking for an intellectual property lawyer in your area, visit Adrienne Naumann.