“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Ghandi

Never say you don’t have competition.  Your biggest competitor is your customer’s decision to do nothing.  That means your solution does not ease their pain at a price they are willing to pay.

Regardless, once you start getting traction, others will notice and join you in the market.  Having intellectual property and patents are a good thing but in the end you have to win in the market.  Potential competitors won’t spend any time on you until you show promise.  They may pass along false information as they seek to protect their customers from you.  Some will try to beat you in court.  Not because it’s legit but because they can and because it distracts you and costs you money you may not have.

The only viable strategy is to provide a solution to a big problem at a price people are willing to pay.

Then you win.

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