Is there an inexpensive way of filing a patent? We talked to a couple of lawyers and the cost to file a patent is hovering around the $20K range. Is that normal? It seemed absurd at first, until the second lawyer gave a similar quote.
I think you have to ask yourself if your idea is really patentable. Is it really the next big thing that nobody has thought of, and that without it you couldn't run your business? The other thing is, I read on Entrepreneur.com some time ago that most patents are never used, the cost of enforcing them, proving liability, and then actually receiving compensation is a huge task, both involving a lot of time and money, which would subsequently hurt your business. But if you do decide to go down that route, then make sure you have the best patent drawn up, it needs to be rock solid, otherwise it's a huge waste of money!