Patenting is a potential quagmire of expense.
What to patent as well as when to patent are key decisions. Inventors often rush to get a patent instead of working under a strong NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), but once you start the patent process, you can’t stop it. The fees for keeping a patent current are significant and are not related to whether your product is making any money or not.
Delaying patenting as long as possible will be a significant saving, which could make the difference of making it to market or not.
Knowing where to patent is also important. A lot of inventors patent their idea globally, be it only needs to be patented where there is a market for it. Conversely, they don’t patent the product in China under the belief there is no protection there, but the reality is a patent in China is the only way to protect it from being copied. If your product is not patented in China, manufacturers there are not breaking any laws by copying it.