For many inventors, a patent is one of the most worthwhile investments one can make, as they can often provide different layers of protection for those seeking exclusive rights to their inventions and products. Without a patent, a competitor may be able to make and profit from your product or invention. To prevent this and to protect your inventions, patents are essential. However, before the patent process is initiated, it is important to have a clear understanding of whether or not your concept is patentable. Importantly, an idea, alone, cannot be patented. While most, if not all, inventions begin as ideas, those ideas must culminate into an invention in order to be patented.