Is there an expression between designers for when you come up with a great concept or product, and then find out someone else recently came up with the same idea?
Normal, very very very little is new in “design”.
I (k)new it !
The funny thing is, that if you think about the development time, that product idea that you just sketched was probably designed anywhere between 18 months to 4 years earlier to get produced… so, your late. The next, next ideas are already on the drawing boards.
Lawyers would call it infringement, I call it bad luck.
The good news is that most successful designers aren’t reliant on a single design.
It’s like when you have to blend three inside corners, with two different radii; it’s a bitch
Look! it’s just like yours but nicer…
Would you start with the larger of the radii first??
As for the OP, I’d take the opportunity to see how the early designer implemented the idea. Take that info and use it to gauge whatever next design you come up with.