with my programmer i have developed a ecommerce system to send gifts similar to vouchers via email, that only works in the industry that im in.Can i patent such a thing because im doing well and its only a metter of time before the competion does the same. and if i cant how can i protect my self.
jtara is spot on. We looked into patents for some of our sites a few years ago. It was going to cost quite a bit just to get the patent. After that, if we wanted to protect it, it was going to cost TONS of cash to protect our patents. There's a reason patent attorneys are some of the highest paid professionals even when compared to other attorneys.
We decided to take the approach that the money would be much better invested if we used it to make sure our process is better than anything our future competition might do.