Especially in the mechanical engineering industry, product imitations threaten the market success of original manufacturers and derogate their return on innovation expenditures. Sustainable protection against imitations requires a company-wide basis for product- and know-how-protection. On that basis, a bundle of suitable protection measures needs to be selected already during the conceptual design of a product and the corresponding production system. In practice, this is currently problematic. Against this background, a procedure for the development of imitation protected products and production systems has been developed. The procedure is divided into two parts. The first four phases are carried out product-independently. They are aimed at the identification of imitation risks, relevant technologies, suitable protection measures and the development of a protection strategy for the regarded company. The product-specific phases five to seven allow a systematic selection of protection measures for technologies that require protection during the conceptual design of a product and its production system. The procedure is explained using a continuous example. Its application is supported by a knowledge management system - the Innovation-Database of the Heinz Nixdorf Institute.