Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. There’s no cookie cutter answer.
Having intellectual property can definitely have an advantage. Products that are patented have a higher perceived value in the marketplace, because having a patent can stop –or at least discourage– others from copying your product.
Filing a non-provisional patent application can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. We highly recommend that you to investigate the possibility of filing a provisional patent application which is easier to do and more affordable. Filing a provisional patent application can cost $65-$265. You can file it and draft it yourself, hire a patent attorney, or hire a patent agent.
A PPA does not require a claims section, which greatly simplifies the process. Please note that if you plan on filing internationally, typically one claim will be required, and we highly recommend having professional help for any claim construction. A provisional patent application gives you one year to test the market, for the duration of which you have “patent pending” status. During that that time, you can determine if have a marketable product before spending large amounts money on a non-provisional patent application. Form our experience, most licensing agreements only require that you have a well written provisional patent application.