Where oh where to start???
Of course you found a great place to start by coming here. Besides here, a MUST READ is The Mom Inventors Handbook by Tamara Monosoff. I see Joe that you are not a "Mom" per sea, but that really doesn`t matter. I need to give credit where credit is due and her book broke the inventing process down to a level that if felt doable and now here I am just months away from a full on assault on the grilling and gifting markets!
The very very short answer to your question is yes, by all means, you can have a prototype made and keep 100% of the rights. That`s usually how it`s done. Seriously, read the book then come back and we can chat in depth.
Everyone has great ideas that they think will change the world, just like you, the difference is, what are you gonna do with it? Go for it!!!
Founder and President
Charmed Life Products LLC
Grill Charms™… The MUST HAVE grilling accessory that is revolutionizing the American Cook-out AND The perfect gift for any occasion!