Ideas are the key to innovation and success in most industries. Everything starts with an idea: the computer, the smartphone, the social media platform. They all started with an idea that someone brought to life.
A patent is a very useful tool to protect inventions and other such developments. It ensures that the person who actually made that development has a right to it and cannot see their ideas stolen by a third party for profit when that third party did none of the work to create it in the first place. In this sense, patents are a way to drive innovation in the United States. For many companies, most of their value actually comes from the patents they hold.
Have you heard someone say that they took out a "poor man's copyright?" Have you wondered exactly what they meant and whether or not it is a good idea?
Employees are often asked to sign nondisclosure agreements when they're hired. In essence, the owners of the company understand that employees need access to certain sensitive information in order to be effective, but they also know that employees come and go. They don't want them to take valuable information that the company holds with them when they leave.
In a lot of cases, plagiarism is clear and may violate a copyright. If someone steals a text entirely and tries to pass it off as their own, that's plagiarism. They stole the content. When you compare the two, they look identical.