Great ideas happen every day. But the idea, invention, or process isn't always credited to the person who came up with it first. Someone might overhear your idea, you might tell it to someone, or someone else might come up with the same invention at about the same time. Because of recent patent law changes, it’s the person who files the application first whose invention is granted protection. Learn more about the different kinds of patents, provisional and nonprovisional applications, filing requirements, and more.