According to Eric Heels, It is actually possible for independent inventors and small businesses to acquire and protect their ideas without going broke in the process. His advice:
1. Consider trade secrets.
2. Consider doing it yourself.
3. Understand patent basics.
4. Consider hiring a patent agent.
5. Quiz your patent professional.
6. Ask good questions.
7. Do a patent search.
8. Consider filing a provisional patent application.
9. File at the right time.
10. Get insurance.