Are there deadlines for filing for patent protection?


Yes.  It is best to talk about your specific timeline with your patent attorney, but one of the most important issues is that a public disclosure, a sale or an offer to sell your invention can prevent you from protecting your invention outside of the US and will start a one year clock for you to get a patent application on file in the US.  It is nearly always the best policy to have a patent application on file before you make any public disclosure or sale of your new invention.  The sooner you can get your patent attorney involved in the process, the more likely you are to avoid accidentally losing your rights to protect your invention.