How to Patent an Idea
The work of thought is the most appreciated type of work. Some ideas are priceless - they move the progress and our life would be different without them. If you have an incredible idea and someone steals it, there is no way to prove that it is yours. Patenting an idea can be tricky, and not every idea is worth it. Sometimes there is a bigger chance you will refuse from your idea then someone steals it from you. If you are absolutely sure you want to patent your idea, then here is some information on how to do it.
First of all, you need to know, that an idea itself can't be patented - only an invention can. So if you have an idea, you should think of it more like an invention, and you should present it as invention, which means you are going to have to work on it.
If you stuck in the "idea" phase, don't give up. No one would like a great inventor to give up just because he feels stuck at some point. You need to think carefully: can your idea pass as an invention? What if your idea already is an invention?
To protect your intellectual property you need to fill out all the necessary applications in the US Patent and Trademark Office. To fill those forms you can use the USPTO's electronic filing system or EFS. Filling your patent application is a very important step. It is a legal document, and you need to do it right in order to get your invention patented adequately.
You can read special guides to filing, they will help you avoid making common mistakes. There are different kinds of patents:
Personal Utility patents
Each type has its peculiarities and you need to study them thoroughly.
Applications for registration of trademarks and service marks are to be filed by means of Trademark Electronic Application System (short - TEAS). Trademark registration can be challenging too, and there are special tutorials on how it is done.
If the idea you have is not an invention, but a story (for example) then it should be protected by copyrighting laws. Here you should simply keep writing and completing your work.
Don't wait for gazillions of money
One of the common mistakes is thinking that your idea itself will bring you money. Just stop thinking that you can get fabulously wealthy just by selling your idea - it is not going to happen. If it was this easy, most people would be filthy rich. But it doesn't mean you should give up, it just means you should work hard.
Don't overestimate yourself
Don't think that there is no need for you to patent an idea, as there is no competition. It is wrong. There always is competition. It is hard to invent something that hasn't been invented yet, there is always an analog.
Intellectual property is the hardest kind of property to protect. Besides, it is the kind of property that is the most precious. When someone uses your idea, you feel like he has stolen your soul. To prevent it from happening, don't wait long to patent your idea, read more about it, talk to professionals. It is a paid procedure, but it is totally worth it. Good luck in your work and good luck patenting your ideas and inventions!