There have been times when I have friends come up to me and say that they have had an invention, only for me to tell them that it has already been done; but what of those ones who genuinely have one that is the real deal? Well you need to remember one thing, never tell anyone your idea (That piece of advice came from Trevor Balis, as they can often steal your idea. So your next step is to patent your idea, the question is how do you go about doing that?
Once you have done this you will have the exclusive right of that property, which means that no one will be allowed to steal that invention from you — just make certain that you get the correct patent. Essortment has a very informative how to guide on just how to do this, and points out that there are three types of patents: utility patent, design patent, and a plant patent. What I found interesting about this is depending of what type of patent you have; they last for different amounts of time.
Your first job is to apply to the US Patent Office, which you can do here. However, for those who live in the UK, then I would advise you to go the Trevor Balis website, not only will they help you through the process, you will also be guided all the way. What I like about Trevor is how he is on your side; this is because he is a fellow inventor.
Remember that there are fees to pay for your patent, so make sure that this is a serious thing that you wish to go ahead with. If and when your invention passes all the relevant stages, the patent will then be granted. However, if there is found to be a similar patent then you will be required to make a few changes — if you can that is.