There has been a lot of talk about patents lately due to the recent court case of Apple v. Samsung. Although, there is a lot of confusion of what exactly is a patent and is its applied use. A patent can be awarded to anybody who creates a unique useful process, machine, composition or any useful improvement to the aforementioned.
Well obviously this is a fairly vague sentence to explain what exactly a patent is. However, this does provide the foundation to properly award patents to those who have created something that can change the world and should reap the financial benefits of that idea. Someone who may create a new invention they may call a “YZ Radio” but without the invention being functional and not providing anything new to what we have come to know as a radio except that of a paper-weight that would not be awarded a patent simply because it is unique.
If you have created something that improves, or is unique and is correctly working as described your patent will prevent others from copying your idea in order to make money from what you had originally created. You may also license your patent out to others so you can reap additional benefits from your creation.
Should you apply for a patent, again, it depends if your idea falls within the criteria mentioned earlier. Also it should be worth noting that the government does not govern when your patent has been infringed, you must take legal action against anybody who may have copied your work without a license or consent.
We hope that you have many great ideas for the future!