When is Patent protection needed?

If you plan to license or sell your idea(s) to others a patent may be critical. Many investors and manufacturers, for example, will not even talk to an independent inventor or small company unless they have a "Patent Pending" status for the idea being developed, or offered for sale or license. Furthermore, in cases where the nature of the invention is such that if it were kept as a trade secret, competitors observing an aspect of your invention would be able to copy your invention without your help, a patent may have critical importance.