Should I Get A Patent?
Patents are expensive, complicated and always cover far less than you'd like.
Short answer: If your invention is successful it will be knocked off and you will want ways of fighting the knockoffs.
1. A trademark on your product's name is inexpensive and MUCH easier and less expensive to defend than a patent.
2. Copyright (for images, instructions, graphics) is helpful and also inexpensive, but not quite as easy and cheap to defend.
3. Design patents protect a product's look. Easy to get, not too expensive, but only helpful if the look is unique.
4. Utility patents are expensive to get, complicated, almost always have weak points that make them easy to get around, exorbitant to defend and... you will absolutely, positively want one of your product is selling upwards of $5,000,000/year (maybe even as little as $1,000,000/year).
At the very least you should file a provisional patent app on your own for $60 just before you launch your product (even if you filed one previously, even if you publicly disclosed previously. Add a detail or three that's new). It will give you a year to see if your product is successful enough to justify spending $$$$ on a utility patent. The provisional app will probably be worthless, any resulting patent probably close to useless, but maybe not.
Here are some real stories about how patents work:
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