When I started marketing magic tricks to magicians, I chose to not protect the trick with a patent. It was a conscious choice and I believe is magicians don’t take steps to protect their intellectual property, they can’t be too upset if it gets knocked off. When you sell a magic trick, that makes you a business, and you need to act like any other business.
I made a business decision that it’s not worth thousands of dollars and years to possibly get a patent and to ultimately have that patent become public domain after a couple of decades.
Yes it sucks to have an idea knocked off.
However there are some basic steps you can take to protect. You can get a copyright or a trademark to help stop counterfeits. Personally I have decided to do a combination of the two. I copyright art, instructions and the ad copy of the tricks that I release and I have a trademark on the name Louie Foxx™ .
By not allowing knock offs to use my art, descriptions or name, it makes it much harder for them to sell my products on larger platforms like AliExpress or Ebay. Both of those sites have easy ways for me to report people that infringe on my copyrights or trademark and are usually pretty quick at removing them.
I occasionally search the bigger platforms for my products and file IP claims. I just did a round of this on AliExpress and as of writing this right now, there’s nothing that infringes on my IP there.
If you want to learn more about this, get Sara Crasson’s book Own Your Magic A Magicians Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property . I really wish I had that book when I was filing my copyrights and trademark!