Patent laws were enacted to make sure that your unique ideas are not copied by others. Those who create the product or idea, under patent law, will have the first right to monetarily benefit from the creation of said product or idea.
A patent ensures that your unique products and ideas are yours alone. There are certain products or ideas that are beneficial to the entire human race and therefore, a permanent patent is not granted. In these cases, a limited time period patent is granted. This way the inventor can have as much monetary benefit as possible before the product or idea becomes public domain. These limited time period patents make sure that the interests of the population and the interests of the inventor are both protected.
Patent laws are in place because it is not possible for the government to support the research to develop all kinds of products and ideas. By protecting the rights of the inventor, the government can be sure that people will continue to think of new and unique ideas to share with the world.
Patents grant the rights to these inventors to profit from the products and ideas that they created. Many times an inventor will look to corporate giants to help fund their research. Otherwise, there may not be enough monetary resources available to develop the ideas.
Products and ideas should not simply be improvements upon or repackaging of products and ideas that already exist. They need to be the original and unique creations of the inventor. Obviously, there are a few exceptions to this rule, however, generally, this is what the patent office looks for.
In order to prove that you have a unique and original product or idea, you must document every part of the creation process. This is essential if you want to obtain the rights to your creation. The more you can document, the better chance you have of being granted a patent. After all, it would be a shame if all of your hard work and ideas were refused a patent because you did not keep good documentation during the creative process. You must also make sure that a similar product does not already have a patent. The patent office is not going to grant a patent for different variations of the same product. This process can be time consuming and frustrating to the inventor, however, it is necessary to protect your invention.