I have a brilliant idea for a web application. After some extensive search, I realized that there`s no existing web application that does the same as my idea. (There may be some just being developed, not yet visible.)
The idea itself is rather simple, and that`s the beauty of it. It costs relatively little to develop, but it has a great potential (wide outreach, huge traffic and revenue generation) if marketed properly.
The idea is based on open source software (Google Map API), plus some extra coding that`s required for the main functionality of the web application. Now the big question: is it possible/necessary to patent an idea that`s based on open source software?
Google can afford giving away their products for free as open source, but if I do the same, I fear that some existing large companies simply copy my idea and develop it into something big at no time (given their vast resources). At the same time, my "invention" can only exist because of Google Maps code is free. And honestly, my idea is much less complicated than most of existing open source products out there.
Shall I protect/patent my idea or not? If so, at what stage?
Now I`m writing up a detailed description of the web application should do, how it should look like, etc. I`m about to hire a web developer/designer firm to start coding at the end of August.