Patents are normally a good idea when you have a product you want to protect. However, when you decide to patent a product varies based on a few factors. In fact, it doesn't have to be the first thing you do.
Patents are tools, but they're not the only tools used for success in business. A patent can cost thousands, so it's worth considering options before you pursue that course. Did you know that only two to three percent of all patented products make it to market? Yes, the number is that low, so don't waste your money until you're sure.
What should your first step be?
The first thing you should do is to determine if your idea is actually a viable opportunity. Then, if so, you should do patent research and develop a prototype. Do market research and see how many people would realistically be interested in your product. If the market is too small, then the product might not be viable commercially. You also should take this time to determine how much it will cost to manufacture the product.
If you find that there is no reason not to get a patent, then you can consider that you may need one. You might also want to consider other options, like applying for a copyright or trademark, both of which are easier and less expensive, if your product fits in those categories. Your attorney can help you decide if those are options that would be better for your product, or if you're right to want to pursue a patent.
Source: Entrepreneur, "To Patent or Not to Patent," Tara Monosoff, accessed June 01, 2018