this is my first question here. :-) I hope it's been answered before; and I'm assuming there are many, many people in my same situation that would like to know the same thing(s).
To explain myself, I'd like to put forth a fictitious scenario that simulates my actual scenario. (I can't explain my actual scenario because, of course, somebody with smarts and money will potentially take my idea and patent it!)
So please bear with me as I hypothesize:
Let's say that I have an idea to create a large building (with stuff in it) that defies gravity, hovers over the ocean, sucks salt out of the ocean, turns the salt into unicorn eggs, puts those eggs on barges, and sends the barges to buyers all over the world.
How would I patent this?
(Obviously this is fictitious, but that's kind of the spot I'm in currently.)
My first reason to want to patent this entire "thing" is to protect myself while I gather investors and smart people to help me bring the idea to reality.
Is a patent even the right way to go at this point?
To complicate matters, many of the parts of this idea will indeed be novel; but some will be regular business practices (using an ERP, for example). Some original software and hardware will need to be created and will therefore be "novel"; but there will also be off-the-shelf sw/hw used. Some sw/hw will be sourced from other vendors and used in the "novel" parts of the idea.
And, of course, I haven't, in fact, "invented" anything at this point. (I have no doubt that everything that needs to be invented can be invented; but nothing has been physically invented yet.)
Any ideas how I should proceed?
Finally; if I were to submit the paragraph above (where I describe the floating building that makes unicorn eggs), hand sketch some drawings of what I think the building may look like, what the eggs may look like, what the "hover" system may look like, would that be good enough to get a patent? And if so, what would the patent be issued for? The building? The eggs? The entire concept?
My apologies; I've rewritten this post about 4 times trying to figure out what my question actually is. I'm just going to stop typing now, and hope that some of you understand where I'm coming from and have some suggestions. :-)
Thank you for any help you can give me! This concept has been percolating for 14 years, and I'm itching to get moving on it.