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Anyone familiar with the PATENT PROCESS

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  • Anyone familiar with the PATENT PROCESS

    I have decided to put an idea I have to work but am uncertain on how to go forward. From my personal research on USPTO, I have not found anything exactly like mine. There are similar approaches, but I believe, based on what I have researched, that mine is unique.
    What I have done so far is:

    -Created a very crude prototype.
    -Researched similar products online
    -Checked for similar patent pendings/ approved patents (at basic level)
    -Conducted small surveys to determine products demand, if any
    -Recorded all work in a daily journal thus far

    I have a feeling that the next step would be to hire a patent attorney.

    Anyone with suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also if you yourself have gone through the patent process, I would love to hear your story.

    Thanks to all for taking the time to read this thread.