Is there a way young designers can protect their ideas from duplication?

A few months ago I went for an interview at a well known design consultancy in London. It was made clear from the offset that there wasn’t an advertised position, but there may be opportunities for some freelance work.

A few months ago I went for an interview at a well known design consultancy in London.

It was made clear from the offset that there wasn’t an advertised position, but there may be opportunities for some freelance work.

I noticed in a recent issue of Design Week that this consultancy has designed a new trophy for a well known institution that bore similarities to one of my designs, while also having the same explanation for the overall aesthetic. Is this a coincidence?

Maybe it is, although the question must be asked, are graduates and young designers being used as a cheap source of inspiration? How do we protect our ideas?

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