Many inventors ask the question, “Why do I need a patent?”
Here is the answer. You have put a lot of yourself into your invention. Thinking about the invention, a lot of time on the internet doing research, spending money on building prototypes, determining market conditions – the list never ends so don’t give away all of your hard work for free! An issued patent prevents others from making, selling or using your innovations within the United States. That includes importation into the United States, so while someone could make your patented invention in China, they cannot import the patented invention into the United States.
An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
You can sell it! A patent is an important property right that you can sell or license. Many people want to sell their invention or license it to others and unless you are either patent pending or hold an issued patent, you do not have anything to offer. In fact, most large companies will instruct you to file for a patent before you submit your idea to them. They do not want to be accused of stealing your idea, an idea they may already have in R&D, and the application or patent demonstrates you are serious about your invention.
Investors love you to have intellectual property. Tied into the above ability to sell and license your invention, intellectual property rights provided by patents are very highly valued by current and potential investors. Watch an episode of Shark Tank and you will see just how important they can be in negotiations with investors.