I INVENTED SOMETHING AND WOULD LIKE SOME INFORMATION ON GETTING A PATTERN FOR MY IDEA TO PROTECT ME
I believe the word you are looking for is 'patent'. :) If you have invented something, the first thing to do is make sure that what you invented is indeed patentable under U.S. law. Anything that has 'utility' can be patented so long as it is new and 'not obvious', though there are some exceptions. Once you are certain your invention is patentable, next, there are two types of patents you should be familiar with generally: a provisional patent and a utility patent. A provisional patent is VERY inexpensive (about $100) and lasts for one year. It allows you to use the term 'patent pending' and secures your patent as of the date of application, and allows you to start 'pitching' your invention without fear of theft. But it only lasts one year. Then, there's the 'real' patent, which costs upwards of $5,000 - $10,000. This is the 'real deal' that gives you full patent protection for 20 years. For more detailed information, of course, you should speak with an attorney.