Can you steal an idea for a startup?
Joyce Park stashed this in Ideas
I am sure there are some you could steal. There are niches where one player could lock up exclusive access to existing content, the right to be "the official X" or whatever. Racing for that single strategic point could decide who gets to try.
For "ideas" of the form take existing business model, prepend hyper-local and call it innovative ... err no.
I think of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: http://quora.com/What-should-the-Winklevoss-twins-have-done-to-protect-their-idea
So I agree that you cannot steal an idea for a startup, and wrote more about that here: http://quora.com/How-do-you-protect-a-brilliant-idea-when-founding-a-startup
It can't help the people being sued in this particular case, that they've been sued before for cheating and fraud: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70C10FF3D5F0C758EDDA80894DD404482
This reminds me of failed screenwriters or authors who say "that Famous Person stole my idea!"
There are plenty of ideas in the world. Execution is *everything*.