I had an idea for a new piece of technology, a gadget. I found a patent filed and though the intent of the invention and results are similar to what I would propose, my method (technology for obtaining the result) would be different as technology has improved (that patent was filed in 1988! - which in itself may mean it's expired?). There are several other patents which reference this, which are newer — so those would probably also factor into this I assume?
What is the address or name of a reference website or book that discusses what I could do in order to pursue my invention? Are there specialists who help in this situation, as a resource (before going to a patent lawyer I suppose)?
I would love to get funding and develop this, but I want to make sure I move forward smartly.