There are a few ways to protect your idea. Before you file any patents, make sure you have proof of all the elements of your invention idea. Also, you should have a working model to show that it works. This will help support your patent application when you file it.
A patent is a government-granted right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a limited period of time. The term of a patent is 20 years from the date on which the patent application was filed in the U.S., or 17 years from the date on which priority was claimed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
A utility patent protects the way a product works or operates, while a design patent protects its ornamental characteristics.
In order to get a utility patent on an invention, it must be new and useful; not obvious; not known or used by others in this country before its inventor invented it; and capable of industrial application (useful in industry). The application must describe and claim what is new and useful about your invention in detail so that someone skilled in the field would understand exactly what it does, and how it does it. The application must include drawings that show the invention in as much detail as possible. It should also include a detailed description of how to make and use your invention.
The patent application process can be very complicated and time-consuming. If you are not familiar with the requirements for filing a patent application, we encourage you to contact an intellectual property attorney or an agency like InventHelp before proceeding.
The cost of filing a patent application is not cheap, and the process can take several months or more. However, if you want to be sure that your invention will remain yours alone and prevent anyone else from copying it, then this expense is a small price to pay.