I know exactly what you mean. The first thing you need is to develop relationships with professionals that you can really TRUST. Hard enough in this world as it is. After you have a suitable drawing done in the style of US patents, THEN you cobble your description together and put it to a lawyer/engineer known as a patent attorney. They do a patent search to see if anyone else had the idea already within the scope and range of your description. If nobody does, then he moves into the prosecution phase...where he prosecutes the patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office....from there, you STILL have two to three years to go.
Back in 2000, I met the original patent holder for horizontal directional drilling, Martin Cherrington. He was a contractor who didn't want to fool with the methods he'd developed in the oil patch for installing underground utilities. He sold the rights to a firm from New York, name of Comstock, and it became known as the 'Comstock' patent. They litigated for payments from anyone who would use the methods that Cherrington used (Cherrington, happily, kept on building bigger and better equipment to get the job done). When the "comstock Patent' expired in 1992, all of a sudden you had multiple companies building equipment for 'trenchless' installation of utilities - Ditch Witch, Vermeer, and others. Why? Because trenchless methods of installation cut into their trencher markets.
Choose a patent attorney with care, but he's the one to get the ball rolling.
Rue Morgue - '08, '09
Black Rock Beacon - '10, '12, '13, '14
(lux, veritas, lardum)
Bacon is forever.
Veni, vidi, pertudi. (We came, we saw, we DRILLED.) - BRC Division of Geology 2009-2014
I'm here until the serendipitous synchronicity is ubiquitous.