Wherever you live, the chances are that it has a government agency called a ‘patent office’, or similar. There are also patent agencies for larger areas, such as the European Patent Office or, ultimately, the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

To begin with, you should apply for a patent at the patent office for your country – it’s best to get a lawyer to guide you through this, and make them sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement, a contract saying they won’t tell anyone else about your invention). Depending on your country, this can either be absurdly cheap or really expensive.

Once you’ve done that, you generally have only one year to file for any patents you might want in the rest of the world. You used to have to apply individually in every country where you wanted a patent (this got very painful and expensive very quickly). Now, though, you can now take advantage of the PCT (Patent Co-operation Treaty), which allows you to apply once and eventually receive protection in all of the 126 countries that have signed up to the treaty. For more information read – how to patent a product with InventHelp.

You can apply for a PCT patent either through your own country’s patent office, or through the WIPO’s office in Geneva. It is again important to stress that you should really get a lawyer if you plan to go through this process, as international patent law isn’t especially intuitive or easy.

You should note that if your patent application is refused at any stage, you won’t be getting your fees back – although you can usually apply again, if you want to pay again.

What if I Don’t Get a Patent?

If you’ve looked at the prices, you might be wondering: what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to me if I didn’t get a patent? The only answer I can give is that anyone you happen to explain the idea to can utilized it, and you won’t be able to do a thing. What’s more, once your invention does come on the market, and if it is proven to make money from your home based business, success will attract many imitators, and they’ll probably be able to produce your invention cheaper by sacrificing quality as described in how to file a patent with InventHelp article.

Essentially, a patent gives you protection against competition, or someone use your idea for starting a home based business – but if you think you could do perfectly well in the market no matter how many imitators you had, then maybe patents aren’t for you.