You can apply for a patent once you have a finished product. Remember, you can’t patent an idea.
However, if you are concerned that a potential investor will “steal your idea” you should definitely get the patent or a provisional patent in place and possibly even an NDA (non disclosure agreement) depending on the specifics of your situation.
Your best option for creating a patent timeline is to consult a skilled attorney.would be happy to assist you with finding the best patent lawyer for your needs. We offer affordable rates and direct communication so you can get the legal services you need without the hassle. Get in touch if you’d like a consultation.