http://citybizlist.com/article/468815/how-inventhelp-can-assist-with-your-invention-idea

There are stringent rules as to what qualifies as an idea that can be patented. Someone who comes up with an invention or new process does not have enough to visit the patent office as they should have something more substantial before their idea can receive a patent.

What is a Patent?

This is a record that grants intellectual property rights from the United States into the inventor, therefore that they are protected by others who might try to use or sell their creation in the US. This also applies to preventing the non-patent holder from importing an invention into the US. There are three types of patents Which Can Be obtained;

-Layout: A brand new, original, and ornamental design for manufacture

-Plant: A new type of plant that reproduces asexually

-Utility: A new and useful process, composition of matter, merchandise, or advancement

If you are the inventor of these three kinds, then you can apply for a patent. However, you will need more than just an idea in your head to get patent protection.

How to File for a Patent

The very first step is to keep careful records of everything you've invented. This means you'll have to have a laptop or some kind of documentation the documents the procedure from the time you first thought of the idea to the last step.

Qualifications: You will need to understand whether your idea qualifies for patent protection. This means it has to fall under one of the three recognized categories of design, plant, or utility. Plus, you'll need to be qualified since the inventor to find a patent.

Assessment: Your idea has to be one that offers some commercial potential, so that will need to be assessed before you can apply. An idea with no practical value cannot be patented, so be sure you address this concern.

Patent Search: This, you have to research to find that no one has come up with your thought before. Should you find one that is similar, then your thought has to differ in a significant way for it to be eligible for a patent.

File Application: once you've completed all of the required steps, you can then file an official application with the patent office. You only complete the form, answer all queries, include required documentation, and they will evaluate whether your idea deserves patent protection.

Who Can Get a Patent?

With few exceptions, only the inventor may apply for a patent. This is to protect the inventor from having someone else file a patent, even if it's in their behalf. This individual would be subject to criminal penalties in filing for a patent if they were not qualified. Of the few exceptions, the most common one occurs when the inventor is dead and their executor or administrator of their estate records to get a patent.

Another instance is when the inventor has been discovered to be insane by the court, their legal representative or guardian can file for a patent. One tricky area is as soon as the inventor cannot be found, someone that has proprietary interest in the creation, such as a spouse, legal representative, or business may apply on the behalf of their inventor.

If there are a couple of people involved in creating the invention, then they all may apply as joint inventors. If someone is left out by mistake, then they may be added to the patent as an inventor. This doesn't include someone who simply made a financial donation, only those who have been a part of the devising process.

For those who qualify for a patent, it's imperative that you initiate the process quickly to secure your idea from other people, so it is possible to reap the benefits.

http://blogs.bu.edu/lmm588/first-steps-to-take-when-you-have-an-invention-idea/