Beware of some unscrupulous invention promotion companies…
After one large promotion firm was required to disclose its track record, it turned out that fewer than 1 in 1,000 of its clients had earned more money than the fee charged. Merely asking dollar-wise questions about such things may cause unscrupulous promoters to seek more gullible sheep for fleecing.
The following list can be used as a guide to verify the credibility of an invention promotion company. The more red flag warnings a company gives, the more you should approach with extreme caution and consider not doing business with that company.
► The company refuses to provide in writing the number of ideas they have represented and how many inventors made more money than they invested.
► The company refuses to provide in writing the number of ideas that have been sent to then and how many they accepted.
► The company refuses to provide the inventor with at least three clients (preferably in the inventors own local area) that can verify their credibility.
► The company tells you to fully describe your idea in writing and then tells you to mail this information to yourself and not open the envelope. This ploy is used to give the inventor the false impression that the idea is somehow protected. In fact, it does absolutely nothing.
► The company recommends applying for a design patent without discussing the reasons and limitations in detail.
► The company runs slick ads on radio, television, and national magazines.
► The company offers a money back guarantee if a patent does not issue.
► The company provides a patent search without a careful discussion of the features and scope of the prior art or potential limitations on the scope of the claims for your invention.
► The company claims to have a financial interest in your invention but also asks for a fee. The Company most likely makes most of their money from fees.
► You can never directly reach the salesman without leaving a message. The salesman is most likely working out of his home and is using a phone drop.
► The company claims to be located in one State but all correspondence is postmarked from another State. Frauds commonly use fictitious addresses and mail drops to hide their true location.
► The company quotes an initial fee for a patent search and invention assessment without discussing the fees for patent application preparation, patent prosecution, issuance, and maintenance.