Your post about the Tornado and Rattlesnake worm war is very interesting!..(.and thanks again for your referral of the "person you directed me to" for my lure project,..I have lookers from legit companies, but no actual offers as of this date,...he is really a quality guy, and has been very helpful, just like you said he would be). I hope I can contribute a couple of helpful thoughts and warnings for anybody on the TU board that is working on a patentable "next new hot lure". Understand, I am not a lawyer,...and am not giving legal advice here,....this is just my lay person's understanding, (right or wrong) of a tiny snapshot of some the complicated rules that could invalidate a patent. They are buried on the USPTO website, and all over the web, if you want to dig them out. From the early beginnings of our country, the U.S. has established a "first to invent" patent law,...as opposed to the rest of the world that has a "first to file" law. The "first to file" laws award valid patents to the "first person to file", regardless of who invented it first. Congress is currently in the process of trying to vote to change our patent law from the current "first to invent",.....to the "first to file" law,...and thus join the other countries in the world to further screw the little guy one more time! The big boys always have more resources to be able to file faster than the average joe inventor. Our "first to invent" concept was established hundreds of years ago, precisely to protect and encourage America's small inventors who naturally have fewer resources. O.K.....To obtain a patent in the U.S. you need to be the "true inventor", and of course, have a "patentable" invention, which has it's own set of legal definitions that must be met. But, first and foremost,... there must not be any "Prior Art" of your invention existing out there. If there is any "Prior Art" on your invention, your patent would not be valid. Now,..."Prior Art" can be many, many things, and it ranges from very simple, to very complicated and tricky. If there is a previous drawing,... picture,...or written or verbal description that shows the workings and essence of your invention, then it's most likely to be Prior Art and cannot be patented. Additionally,...If you, yourself, publicly circulate or publish an article or pictures describing your lure,...that is Prior Art..... If you speak in a public forum describing the your lure,... it's Prior Art. Even if you give your lure to a fishing guide to field test it for you,....and you are not present, and "in control of the invention",...that too, is Prior Art. If you show your invention to a company or individual,... a Non-disclosure agreement usually protects you from having created a Prior Art event against yourself. And that is just touching the surface. Interested companies, of course will try to discover any Prior Art on an invention, so they can be legally free to produce it themselves. That's the reason competing companies will do their own patent search on other companies inventions. This is extremely common among the high-tech companies and their inventions. Furthermore, if you ever make an actual offer to sell your invention to someone,... and you do not file for your patent within one year of the offer,....you may also LOSE the right to ever patent your invention. So, this the advice that was given to me by someone who has worked on a lot of different inventions, and I will pass it along: The most important first step an inventor should take (besides knowing how not to lose your invention because of tricky patent laws)....is to start, and keep current, an Inventors Notebook or Journal. (Check out the web, or the USTPO site for articles on how to do it right.) This notebook must be written in ink, in a bound book,....not looseleaf. Enter every fact about the inception, design, and development of your lure such as drawings, and descriptions of how it works, and why it's unique. Every time, you make a relevant change, or make field tests, or have conversations with people about your lure, emails, etc. etc.,....you need to enter these events in chronological order by date and time. You need to have a third party, who is not a family member, be a witness to developments concerning your lure, by signing, and dating that page in the book that contains the relevant drawings or descriptions.. All Witnesses must have at least a rudimentary working understanding of the invention and statement or drawing that they are signing. The reason that this Notebook is necessary, and valuable, if done right,... is that it might be your best and ONLY chance to offer proof to a judge or a jury,...in the event that you are ever involved in a legal dispute where the question is;... who really was the "first to invent"? It can also be helpful in preventing the many LURE THIEVES,...(some who may be reading this now,..if so, listen up!) from stealing your invention. The Inventors Notebook also might be exactly the thing that makes your attorney anxious to sue some of these THIEVES on a contingency basis! In my opinion,...U.S. patent laws are a lot like the IRS laws,...very complicated and brain freezing,...bloated, and stacked against the little guy who has few resources. I have been working on a lure that has two model variations, a shad type, and frog/creature type,.. this lure has several very unique design and utility features,...and I have several fishable prototypes and action DVD's. For this project, I have kept a Notebook on my lure exactly as I have described above,... it is super easy to maintain once you start it. The Notebook is not a legal document in the strictest sense,..but it IS evidence, ...that you in fact, have invented something, at a certain point in time!,... and that fact has been verified by witnesses. But,...in this "wild west" lure industry, I'm betting that my lure will STILL GET STOLEN in time!....because you always assume some risk whenever you reveal your lure,... even with a non-disclosure agreement! You either have to show it,...or leave it in your tackle box and just fish it yourself. That is the reality, so you need to arm yourself as best as you can, to try to defend yourself when you don't have deep pockets. Sorry this was so long,... I just wanted to strongly emphasize two points; the danger of creating any "Prior Art" against yourself,..and the importance of keeping good current records on your inventions. Good luck to us all,...we'll need lots of it.