For aspiring inventors knowledge of patent law is invaluable. Patents are used to protect intellectual property; they can prevent others from using an inventor’s ideas without the inventor’s consent. Patent law exists to create an environment that fosters invention, and protects the rights of those who invent.
First, it a myth that mailing oneself invention plans and having it postmarked will automatically patent an idea; it won’t. For an idea to be legally patented an application must be filed. Filing an application for a patent basically, involves describing in detail the invention that is to be patented, and how it is to be created. There are special attorneys who specialize in patent law who can complete patent applications for an inventor, but the inventor is the only person that can apply for a patent. For a patent to be established three conditions must be met for the invention, it must have a use, be a new invention, and it must not be obvious. When it is said that an invention “must not be obvious,” it means that the invention shouldn’t be something anyone with a certain amount of knowledge would have easily thought up, but at the same time the obviousness of an idea is not easily defined.