Gather feedback on ideas and inventions that you plan to market yourself, or find partners for further development. Remember that anyone can read your post, so don't disclose any confidential information about your project.
By HotGarbage
Here's a question that has probably been asked before. This is my first day on this site; Hello to all. My question to all you inventors out there is: What is the best (and cheapest) way to research to see if your idea is actually new or not? AND if it is new, how do you go about protecting it (best and cheapest way, please) and marketing your idea?

-Brand new ideas, Brand new inventor ;-D
By mking
As far as being a new invention, first I would do unlimited key word searches over the internet with all words that can be remotely associated with your invention. As far as protection, I would suggest all layman including myself, "cheapest in long run" to find a patent lawyer you can drink beer with, "trust". The other option you have is ask questions like you are doing. You will certainly pick up bits of good info. Lastly, If you have the time, there are some good books at the public library that can help. I know this info is probably worthless to you, but it might get you started.
By nov8r
You can file a provisional patent for about $80. which gives you protection for one year,preferably after you have tested a prototype and are satisfied withe the concept.
Legal can do the patent for about $300.
Do a patent search on the patent office website
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By 1313
I have got a couple of ideas on the go, and one of the very first things I did was write myself a letter. Basically, I wrote down my idea and then sent it to myself. This letter has a post mark on it and will remain sealed until I ever reuire it as evidence. This then I would like to hope proves when I had the idea. At least if it went to court the letter could then be opened infront of a judge.
By InventR
You could register for free with a Patent Search company like They used to be a part of IBM and are one of the world's largest Patent Storage and Research companies. I spent a $100 for a month of full use on Delphion and managed to do a succesful patent search across the world and then applied for my patent. You have to really know what serach words to use.

For free you get all the published patents in the US, which may be enough if you're looking at only the US.

My advice is to hire someone else - because if its your own invention - you are looking to not find it rather than find it.
By spannerintheworks
You might be able to send yourself a letter to show you started a project at a certain time.

Under most countries they go by the system of the "first to file" so it doesn't matter when you started to invent it. However the letter might come in handy to test whether or not your invention is "obvious". That if certain patents that may contain functionality similar to your invention, becomes avaliable to the public whilst your still writing the patent you can disregard that part when doing your prior arts test. Since if it is obvious that a person "skilled in the art" would have came up with the invention by combining 1 or 2 more patents or other sources of information then you wont be granted a patent. SInce 1 million patents are filled every year. That means 3000 patents become public knowledge each day, of course remember there is journals, and websites. All of this can be used as prior art. For example this website. If anything that comes up here that other people are currently working on they might loose their right to patent it if the information disclosed here makes their invention obvious unless you can prove you have been working on it before.

The thing is when more than 2 different sources are used it is generally harder to theorize that someone would actually combines certain elements to create a new invention.

But a inventors log book that is signed and testified by 2 people who have no interest in your project will have the same effect.

So 1) Do all the research and get a provisional patent.

Then you can do all the searchs. This way you don't have to worry about trojans on your computer or sniff your or packets when you patent search.

I highly recommended the European Patent website as they seem to include multiple countries.

Just file it yourself you dont need to contact a patent attorney.

I've filled 3 provisionals myself last month. If I had seen a attorney I would have paid $6000. Since I intend to file 5 more patent I dont have 10 grand to burn.

I've started discussion with the CEO of a possible partner. I see an attorney when things get serious.
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By cyg
I am new here but I did manage too sell one of my ideas and it is now patented, I receive royalties for it. All of the suggestions are good and places too start with. I will list how I did it and maybe it will help. I first made the item, or prototype and then used it in the field. In my case it was a siding cutting table. Then I paid $120 bucks for a provisional patent (now this is good for a years time). I then sent out various emails with pictures of my item and did allot of phone calls on top of it.
Out of all the contacts only one responded and that was six months later. So never, never give in too despair. It can and will happen sometimes it takes time. But my provisional does protect me from rip offs and it gave me many opportunities too visit other manufactures. Another thing I want too point out. You have too ask yourself is this something I want to manufacture and receive all the funding for? Or, is this something I want made for me, (packing, marketing, advertising, sales, ). I chose too receive only the royalty. Good luck with your idea. Hope this information helps. ;-D

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