You need to adequately describe your product - what the product is, what is the use of the product, how to make it, and the like. If you can provide a sketch or drawing of the product that should help also. As you figured, it is quite complex to obtain a patent, and doing it yourself is not recommended.
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists between me and you. Please consult a qualified attorney before making any significant decision.
Read Patent It Yourself by David Pressman [ http://goo.gl/t4UA1 ].
The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
I have tried to put this in layman's terms, so please understand that it is overly simplified.
but designed to give you an overview answer.
You prepare an application that describes your invention in sufficient detail such that a person of ordinary skill in the relevant field could replicate a version of what you claim to be your invention. You include at the end of the application, one or more claims, which are describe the outer boundaries of your invention in an arcane, single sentence form. The claims must also take into account and avoid encompassing things that are identical to or a legally "obvious" variant of what you claim based upon whatever knowledge you and the attorney know about the field at the time. The application is then filed in the Patent Office with the necessary fees and it goes into the queue for examination.
The Patent Office will then examine the application and claims for compliance with the statutory requirements, which include whether your invention AS CLAIMED is sufficiently different from what is already known. If it is, they will allow your application and you pay a fee to have your patent issued.
If it is not, you will receive an Office Action identifying what the Patent Office believes is already known and setting forth its rationale for its belief. If you agree that the Patent Office is correct, you don't get a patent. However, if you believe that the Patent Office is wrong for some reason, you will have the opportunity to explain why the Patent Office is wrong or to modify your claim so as to not encompass what was previously known and make arguments as to why the modified claims are now patentable, notwithstanding the known "stuff" the Patent Office cited against you. This may happen more than once. If the Patent Office agrees with your modifications and/or arguments, it will allow the application. If not, you keep trying or give up. (You do have the ability to go through an appeals process if you believe that the Patent Office is wrong as a legal matter, but that is probably not relevant to you right now).
I hope that this sufficiently answers your question. Good luck!
This information is intended to be general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be specific legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. I require a signed retainer agreement from a potential client to establish an attorney-client relationship and before I will provide specific legal representation.
Here is a nice flowchart from the US Pat & TM Office that explains the process. http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/index.jsp
For any aspect of the process, authoritative information is available direct from the horse's mouth at www.uspto.gov and you can call the US Patent Office helpline at 1-800-PTO-9199 (1-800-786-9199) OR 571-272-1000 (although at times they can be the other end of the horse.)
A very comprehensive book is http://www.amazon.com/Patent-Yourself-Step-Step-ebook/dp/B006JU1AOA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0 by David Pressman of San Francisco, now in its 15th edition available on Kindle or in paperback.
Better is to call an attorney and ask for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION, as that will get you information specific to your situation and the how the process works FOR YOUR situation.
Another useful source is to see a local inventor group, although that can sometimes get you misinformation rather than correct information.
You need to know that the patent law is in transition now from one system (first to invent) to another very different one (first to file) and the process will work quite differently. That law was passed 9/16/2011 and various aspects are being phased in, with the key date being 3/16/2013 for the main switch.
So far, this is free to you. Until you pay a fee, I am not your lawyer and you are not my client, so you take any free advice at your sole risk. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.