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Protecting Your Idea With a Patent Isn't Cheap, Part 1

Understanding the different types of patents is the first step in protecting your idea.
November 12, 2001

Many people think that sending a registered letter detailing their idea to an attorney, friend or themselves (and then keeping it in a safe place, unopened) provides protection. Wrong--it doesn't. The only legal form of protection recognized by the judicial system is a patent. And as you may already know, obtaining a patent isn't cheap. To determine how much money you'll need to spend, you should first understand the two types of patents that most often apply to entrepreneurs: