When I was fresh out of college, I worked with someone who had their Ph.D who I'll call X. They told me that they had lunch with a person from Facebook who had told them about a Novel Algorithm Facebook had created. X decided to do a patent search on this algorithm, and it did not exist. Therefore, X decided to patent it himself as a System and Method.
My researched solution to a problem could potentially be worth millions of dollars. I don't mean to sound braggadocious or grandiose, but I have experience in the industry, and I'm aware of how potentially valuable it could be. I was thinking about doing a Ph.D on it. How do I prevent professors such as X from patenting my solution, or presenting it as their own idea in a publication? Since my solution could potentially be worth so much money, should I just patent it myself? The only caveat is that it is super expensive to do that. Should I apply for a grant on grant.gov? Should I write a manuscript in arXiv.org? Should I try to write a business plan and try to get funding?