Idea protection means taking some legal or confidentiality measures to protect individual's or company's ideas. All ideas - technical or not - can be separated into two kinds: secret ones or those, which are impossible to hide.
Invention patenting is not necessarily the best and universal approach for idea protection. Though it is indispensable when the idea can not be hidden from disclosure in the form of product or process, etc. So inventions should be patented in case the idea is obvious to persons skilled in the art, whenever they see the product or method.
However some technical ideas can not be recognized so easily by exploring the product itself. These days, when reverse engineering is so advanced, it is very hard to find an example, where it would be not possible to figure out the idea, which is to be protected. I know some solutions in the laser field, where secrets are in the nanometer domain, therefore not easy to find, if not looked specifically. Rumors say that the recipe of coca-cola is also well protected with trade secrets rather than with patents. Personally, I don't believe it.
In conclusion: reverse engineering these days went so far, so that idea protection by invention patenting or design protection seems more and more attractive solution.
If you are reading this because you have some technical ideas to be protected, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll consult you not only on prosecution of patents, but also on selection of the best means for idea protection.