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Innovation in the form of the idea is the first important step towards any invention. While the idea indicates that you have recognized a problem, you need to flush out how the idea can be implemented in order to patent the idea. While ideas are a crucial and important component of the overall creativity puzzle, absent a clear distillation of the idea into a solution, there can be no patent protection and no exclusive rights to the idea itself. Further, patents are for inventions that meet statutory criteria: utility patents, design patents and plant patents. Ideas can be protected through confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure agreements.