How to apply for a patent for a specific IT process?

Im looking to apply for a patent for an IT related process, and havent the foggiest upon how to accomplish/or even begin this process... I am guessing I'd have to pay for applications, but I guess id be curious to see if there was a database I would be able to research to see if it already exists, which I am sure it doesnt......Eventually, might even like to license the methods once a successful patent is obtained......

Any clues on where to start, or even which zones I should be in?

Thanks in advance.....  :-)
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johnb6767Asked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The two first things are to locate patent lawyers that would know what to do and to Google for patent applications for software and IT processes.  Patent applications require a specific format and it is unlikely that you will successfully patent anything without a lawyer.  Patenting anything software based is still difficult.  You might want to check out the link about what is patentable.

Here's the search page for the US Patent and Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/  And the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_application

Note that obtaining a patent primarily enables you to sue someone for infringing on your patent.  The government does nothing to protect you except say, "Yep, he has a patent."  Note also that the patent application is a public document that tells everyone how to do what you want to patent.  Apparently it remains a public document even if your patent is denied.

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johnb6767Author Commented:
Good info.... Ill check out the links in the am.....
johnb6767Author Commented:
Sorry for the delay... This is goig to be much more involved than I was thinking. I will close this, and will revisit should more info be needed....

Thanks!
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Thanks for the points and come back when you have more questions.
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