From time to time, NEWS & INFORMATION of particular interest to IANE members will be found on this page. This is provided voluntarily as a benefit of membership in IANE and is merely presented as information only. Disclaimed are any claims as to accuracy or 'goodness to fit' and of applicability in a particular case.  Use it at your own disgression and risk. Obtain legal advice and professional help before venturing too far in patent matters.  "Dont just sit there..INVENT!!"
1. After you have invented something, check stores and web sites to see if it already exists.  You can do this yourself very quickly.
2. Conduct a quick patent search at the US Patent & Trademark Office.
3. If your invention is found, see if you can modify yours or invent something else instead.
4. Keep in mind that a quick search is not the end in the event that nothing is found but it is a highly recommended place to begin.
5. Don't spend money building prototypes, making molds, or setting up a business.
6. Consult with a registered patent agent who can advise you further regarding your next steps such as filing a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application. (see the article  AVOIDPPA   AVOIDING COMMON PITFALLS OF PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS (PPA’S) ).
It is also pointed out that effective March 16, 2013, the US went to a first to file system as specified by the America Invent Act. 
What this means is that the first person to file a patent application could be awarded a patent, so speed in filing is important now
to prevent anyone else in the world from beating you to it.