This list has had lots of good info on the patent process. I’ve looked into
this process as well, and found that it generally takes about three years (in
Canada) from the time you register, during which time every scrap of your
is open to the public domain. That means that any Joe Blow can
essentially copy your idea, change one minute thing and then flood the market
with a knock-off before you ever get your patent registered. Unfortunately,
there are sharks out their who without blinking make their living off of
stealing other people’s ideas. Unless you are really keen about getting a
patent, you are better off registering it as a copyright or an industrial
design, both of which offer similar protection, with less expense.
Forget the companies that offer to register your patent for you - they’re a rip
off. They charge outrageous fees and take a percentage on top of it!
Even once you receive your patent, the protection is only good for something
like 17 years, and only in the country of registration.
I do the “mail it to myself” route & it works quite well. It is perfect for
establishing a “date of origin” for the purposes of copyright or industrial
design, which could be key if you ever have to go to court. Write a note in the
upper left corner to remind you what the contents are.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada