Patent is an intellectual property right granted to an inventor for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. However straight-forward the definition of patent and the different types of patents you can obtain, the pathway to actually receiving a patent is somewhat winding and can be difficult if you attempt it alone.
First, a Patent Search should be conducted, to see if your idea is already covered by an existing patent or filed application. Searching the databases of all published patents and applications requires knowing quite a bit about the searching process, which includes being able to use Boolean search terms and connectors, and also quite a bit about the field in which search you are searching and you can find more info about it from https://www.macobserver.com/tips-on-getting-your-tech-invention-off-the-ground/ too.
Most times, patent publications include very broad and descriptive terminology, not necessarily the common trade names of products and components. There are many patent search companies which can easily conduct this type of research for a fee. Patent attorneys often also provide this service, and are also able to provide legal and use-infringement opinions based on their findings.
Second, a Filing Strategy should be considered. Depending on what your idea entails, you may want to consider International Patent Protection as part of your initial filing, which can include filing one or more patent applications in foreign countries, or filing an application initially in the US, followed up by filings in one or more foreign countries. If you are unsure about the viability of an international filing, please contact a qualified patent attorney to review your specific idea.
Next, the a type of application needs to be chosen. Often times a Traditional Utility Application is the best route for most inventors because it begins the patent review process immediately upon filing. Sometimes, a Provisional Utility Application works best for a specific idea, because it provides for a simplified submission with a lower initial investment, and gives the inventor 12 months to estimate the commercial potential of the invention before announcing the higher costs of filing and processing the traditional non-provisional patent application.
At the end of the 12-month period, the traditional utility application must be filed, to continue the review process and keep the original filing date. If you are unsure of which application type is the best for your invention, a patent attorney or agent can easily help you decide as was discussed in https://knowtechie.com/5-new-breakthrough-tech-inventions/.
It really is worth your time to contact a patent attorney or agent before committing yourself and your idea to the patent pathway. Often times, a patent application is the best route, but sometimes it is not. Submitting an incorrectly prepared or researched patent application may actually create more problems for your continued enjoyment of your invention than not submitting anything at all.