I have a great idea! What should I do now?
Five Critical Steps

  1. Do not tell anyone!
  2. Do a patent search yourself at the following web site (very easy):
    http://www.google.com/advanced_patent_search
  3. Discuss your idea with a trusted friend, but only after he/she signs a non-disclosure agreement such as this one. Do not discuss it with anyone else including those you trust. (Why?)
  4. If your friend agrees your idea has merit, and your patent search is negative, have a Patent Agent or Patent Attorney conduct world wide patent research and obtain a patentability opinion. This search must be similar to a standard U.S. Patent Office search and will cost about $1,000.
  5. If the professional patentability opinion is positive, file for patent protection as soon as possible.
    Your options are:
    1. Provisional patent application
    2. U.S. Utility (non-provisional) patent application
    3. U.S. Design patent application
    4. International patent application
    5. Application in a foreign patent office
    6. Application in European or Eurasian patent office
    This decision usually requires professional advice. You may obtain patent pending status by filing the Provisional patent application by yourself. This is the least expensive approach.

Next: See the "Invention Marketing" section of this web site; proceeding after filing for patent protection.