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 does not provide the inventor with a summary of its submitted inventions. And, the company cannot disclose the inventions accepted by industrial partners.
► The company refuses to provide the inventor with at least three clients (preferably in the inventor’s local area) that can verify their credibility.
► The company tells you to describe your idea in writing and then mail this information to yourself and not open the envelope. This ploy gives the inventor the false impression that the idea is somehow protected. But unfortunately, the strategy 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 in 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 its money from fees.