Innovator7, your inverter example is a good example of bootstrapping up your company. Fortunately for you, inverters have just enough technology in them to make them difficult to copy, and easier to patent.
Non-tech inventions, particularly purely mechanical inventions, are easier to copy, and harder to patent and maintain the status. Therefore, in general, they have to hit the shelves of the mass retail stores, so they can make some money before they get copied.
In summary, many inventions are hard to bootstrap because they are so simple in operation and easy to copy.
Actually, I am learning alot! I am the one who let a year go by without finalizing my patent, and started selling my product. Now I have to start over and change something to make it "new" and go through the process to completion. Fortunately, I can make a large enough adjustment to qualify. And luckily I won`t need to go global.
My understanding, talking to my patent attorneys, is that international patents are hard to protect. Most countries ignore them and make you come after them.
My product is easily copied. I just want to have a patent that I can use to protect my product in those instances where I really want to and to use as a plus when looking for investors. Too much money can be wasted protecting a patent. I just want to be the "xerox" in the sea of copiers. The first, the biggest and the brand name!
I would like to add another comment about PATENTS. Most patents are junk!
In the olden days, the PTO (Patent Office) used to require that you send in a working prototype with your patent. Not anymore. So, most folks believe they can get a patent on a concept or a block diagram. And its true, you can. But let me give you an example of why this is not a good idea:
In the mid 70`s I tried to patent what would be called an "automatic tone control" for a stereo. No matter what kind of input you gave it, radio-LP-Cassette-Changing from channel-to-channel, etc, it would try to maintain the same amount of Bass, Mids, and Treble that you preferred in your ears. It did this by working as a graphic equalizer, with an automatic gain control in each band. Okay, I could have recieved a patent on that block diagram.
But, I decided to build it first. Low and behold, the circuit had one huge problem that I did not see coming. If the input went quiet for a while, the tone control would start turning up full blast. By the time the music came back on, it would blow out the speakers (or at least hurt your ears)!!! So, I had to fix my circuit by adding another circuit that looked for the "no input signal" scenario.
So, my patent now had in it the main concept and the "fix". This was now a solid patent. If I had not built it and fixed it, somebody else could have came along with a new patent containing the "fix", making mine immediately obsolete.
So, don`t patent anything until you get it working, or you are going to end up with a wortheless patent! ( I have been telling people this for 30 years and not too many are listening).
Fact: You have received good suggestions and solutions earlier in this thread
Fact: There are NO silver bullets that will solve your problems
Fact: You will NOT receive any offers to help you financially from your post in this forum.
Fact: You have a whole lot of work to do before you can approach people for money. You are putting the horse before the cart.
IMPORTANT FACT: Investors do NOT like to hear the things you are saying -- You need to listen carefully, understand what people are saying, and realize that you have only 3% of the solution done... 97% is a LONG way to go. So far, you have not shown yourself to be someone who takes direction, criticism, or understands your own limitations or current position. Those things will scare the crap out of anyone who might be a potential investor. These things sink companies.
We are not here to solve your problems. That`s what YOU need to do. If you feel you are hopelessly are stuck at this point, carefully consider if you really want to move forward. The problems you are having now are only small, early hurdles. the big ones come later.
What I am saying should energize you, not discourage you, providing you have what it takes. Stop whining, get over yourself, and start to educate yourself, and do it beyond what`s handed to you in this thread.