Sometimes in an action characterized as a 'defensive patent strategy' one attempts to restrict or otherwise prevent others for example competitors from getting patent(s). This is done by registering an invention on an early date prior to that which others might be able to apply for a patent on a similar or identical invention. In a statutory invention registration, an inventor formally records details of an invention which can then be used as prior art against other later coming applicants.
The inventor doesn't get a patent or any patent rights or rights to exclude others form using the invention, but does prevent others from getting a patent. Where you have competitors who tend to seek patents in the fields in which you work – you might consider registering your new ideas as statutory invention registrations. The law for this kind of action is set forth here: 35 U.S.C. 157 Statutory Invention Registration.
To effectively use this strategy one needs to still provide a very detailed disclosure explaining every aspect possible. If an SIR is recorded but leaves out significant details, later coming inventors may actually be helped along and deeper into your sensitive fields. Accordingly, it is wise to prepare these registrations quite carefully.