Patent Your Intellectual Property
It's easy, unfortunately, to patent intellectual property you did not invent. For instance, a few years ago, a gentleman in Australia patented the wheel. According to Australian patent law, he was within his rights. Although later the law was changed to prevent anyone from doing this again, he still went down in history as the man who patented the wheel. You should always patent your inventions as soon as you can to protect your intellectual property rights. You should hire a good patent lawyer to take care of the patent registration for you; not only will he do a patent search to make sure your invention doesn't exist and thus you aren't infringing on someone else's intellectual property rights, but he will also protect all the intellectual property rights he can, both in the US and internationally. This is very important these days; Chinese and other Asian firms in countries with loose patent laws are infringing on everyone's intellectual property rights, from reprinting without permission the Harry Potter books to selling bootleg copies of MS Windows. In addition, it's not always that easy to see when you've infringed on someone else's intellectual property. For several years, kids were filesharing songs on Napster, resulting in a number of lawsuits and some kids getting in really serious trouble. In the early days of the Internet, some people were registering domain names like mickey.com or goofy.com, ignoring any intellectual rights Disney might have in its own characters. If you have patented or copyrighted your intellectual property, it's much more difficult for a greedy person to steal your intellectual property from you. Your patent is your seal of ownership on your intellectual property. Without a patent, anyone can legally steal your invention. A patent lawyer is there to protect your intellectual property rights. Use him.