Truthfully most of the time people ask these questions, the idea in question may not be patentable, or more importantly enforceable (able to be upheld in a court).
As far as “monetizing” a patent - if you have an idea for a product that is novel and patentable you need to ask the following question:
-Why would another company try to pay you money to knock off your idea? Any royalty cuts into their bottom line and realistically they would much rather work with you in the first place to produce your idea (and not under the threat of legal action) and sell it.
-Consulting firms are sometimes able to get royalty on products which are designed in exchange for a reduced up front fee. IE instead of charing $100k to develop your product, I will take the risk and say give me 10 cents of each one sold instead. In this case, the manufacturer of the product is getting a lower up front cost in exchange for an honest business agreement - these will be signed into contracts which means if the manufacturer was caught lying about how many were sold, the cost of legal action again would be much greater than them just being honest.
-The USPTO does not steal patents - they are not in the business of waiting for “super great ideas” to show up so they can tell their buddies. You are not the first person to get a patent and this is a non issue.
Here is the reality about patents:
-They are expensive to get, and even HARDER to legally enforce. Even if you patented Widget A and a company came over and knocked it off, you would have to then gather the legal resources to sue that company. If this is some small simple idea, then it is likely not patentable in the first place. There are two types of patents, Utility (a novel function) and Design (a unique aesthetic not tied to any specific function). Utility patents are hard to get because you need to prove you are truly the first person to come up with an idea - and also prove that someone couldn’t easily circumvent your patent by changing one of the steps or pieces of the design slightly to make it “unique”. Design patents are easy to get and very hard to enforce - all it takes is a slight change to the aesthetic design for something which functions similar to have a completely new design.
-Patents are EASY. Building a product is hard. I could patent something that would take millions of dollars in R&D to actually bring to market, and not have a large enough market size for anyone to actually want to take that risk. So going out and getting a patent and expecting someone to come license it from you is a common, and almost 100% flawed strategy.
If you actually have an idea for a good product:
-Forget about the patent, build it. Figure out what it takes to actually make it work, and prototype it to the point where you can share it with people.
-If people like it, consider looking for investors. Kickstarter has made access to capital easier than ever, and there are engineering and design firms who can easily take your rough prototype into a manufactured product.
-If the market really exists, then worry about filing patents for protection - but speak with an actual patent attorney first. Patents are now on a “First inventor to file” system, which means if multiple people have the same idea it’s about who puts the idea in writing first, but showing the date that you initially disclosed the invention can block any other people from patenting the same idea.
Long story short, don’t expect to become rich off a patent. Patents are cheap, making something is hard.