I have an idea. I'm debating with myself whether or not it is obvious. I don't see any evidence of anyone else in the industry doing it. Before I begin doing it I'd like to secure a patent if possible to prevent competitors from copying. How do I know if it can be patented?
I will give you as much as I can of the idea in industry non-specific terms.
Essentially I have a large user base using my software/hardware product. I would like to setup a systematic approach where the user base can submit proposed changes to my product. I have a computer process that automatically analyzes what has been submitted to determine if it should be included. If it is determined that it should be included then it is automatically adding into a patch. That patch will automatically be downloaded and installed by all users of the product. This whole process can be completed within a minute or less. That means that users can have virtually real time impact on improving the product for everyone. Due to the nature of the product, updating that rapidly makes the product/user experience better for everyone.
So, is this obvious? I don't care if the idea is used for other types of applications. I just don't want it to be used by my competitors as it would give me a competitive advantage to be the only one with a system that works like that.
What are your thoughts? Am I nuts to think I could get a patent?