Sorry for being late to the party! While I agree with others that a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) does not always protect another’s idea, I still think the use of one is preferred over nothing. It’s pretty affordable to have an NDA drafted so that would be my first move. After putting an NDA together, you should put in the time and effort needed to make your idea patentable. To achieve this, start by jotting down every step of your invention process. You need to thoroughly describe and display every aspect and modification of the invention, including how you came up with the idea for it. Depending on your idea, you may want to build and test a prototype as well. Try to document these recordings as much as possible too.
After developing your idea, you need perform a patent search. This will tell you whether your idea has already received patent protection. Start here with Google Patent. You’ll also want to search the USPTO . You may find inventions that are similar to your own, but not necessarily the same. You must look for the differences and the features that make your invention unique. Those distinctions are going to strengthen your application, so make sure you’re able to describe those differences thoroughly, specifically and clearly.
Theoffers a ton of general information about a broad range of topics including what information is required, how it should be presented, what the specification and drawings should look like, and a host of other important information. Also, feel free to check out a I wrote a few months back on How to Write a Good Provisional Patent Application.
You should check outto have a patent attorney complete a free patent search for your idea. Our legal platform has helped a ton of inventors deal with their patent and IP issues. If you have any questions about our service (I’m the CEO) or anything IP related feel free to message me!