I agree with Dave’s answer that you want to be sure that 1. You have something that can actually be patented 2. That you pursue the patent if you will be using it for business.
It’s hard to distinguish the “right time” you should patent because it’s also true that you can’t patent an idea. It has to be something that is useful (although software can certainly be patented although it can be a bit more complex).
Rather than wonder about your situation, you should consult a patent attorney sooner rather than later. That way, you can explain your specific situation and get some advice that’s most relevant to your needs.
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