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Mary Bellis

It May Be Too Good to Be True if You Hear

By January 12, 2014

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  • "We think your idea has great market potential."
  • "Our company has licensed a lot of invention ideas successfully."
  • "You need to hurry and patent your idea before someone else does."
  • "Congratulations! We've done a patent search on your idea, and we have some great news. There's nothing like it out there."
  • "Our research department, engineers, and patent attorneys have evaluated your idea. We definitely want to move forward."
  • "Our company has evaluated your idea, and now wants to prepare a more in-depth research report. It'll be several hundred dollars."
  • "Our company makes most of its money from the royalties it gets from licensing its clients' ideas. Of course, we need some money from you before we get started."

Why?

Because

  • "We think your idea has great market potential." Few ideas - however good - become commercially successful. If a company fails to disclose that investing in your idea is a high-risk venture, and that most ideas never make any money, beware.
  • "Our company has licensed a lot of invention ideas successfully." If a company tells you it has a good track record, ask for a list of its successful clients. Confirm that these clients have had commercial success. If the company refuses to give you a list of their successful clients, it probably means they don't have any.
  • "You need to hurry and patent your idea before someone else does." Be wary of high pressure sales tactics. Although some patents are valuable, simply patenting your idea does NOT mean you will ever make any money from it.
  • "Congratulations! We've done a patent search on your idea, and we have some great news. There's nothing like it out there." Many invention promotion firms claim to perform patent searches on ideas. Patent searches by fraudulent invention promotion firms usually are incomplete, conducted in the wrong category, or unaccompanied by a legal opinion on the results of the search from a patent attorney. Because unscrupulous firms promote virtually any idea or invention without regard to its patentability, they may market an idea for which someone already has a valid, unexpired patent. In that case, you may be the subject of a patent infringement lawsuit - even if the promotional efforts on your invention are successful.
  • "Our research department, engineers, and patent attorneys have evaluated your idea. We definitely want to move forward." This is a standard sales pitch. Many questionable firms do not perform any evaluation at all. In fact, many don't have the "professional" staff they claim.
  • "Our company has evaluated your idea, and now wants to prepare a more in-depth research report. It'll be several hundred dollars." If the company's initial evaluation is "positive," ask why the company isn't willing to cover the cost of researching your idea further.
  • "Our company makes most of its money from the royalties it gets from licensing its clients' ideas. Of course, we need some money from you before we get started." If a firm tells you this, but asks you to pay a large fee - up-front or to agree to make credit payments - ask why they're not willing to help you on a contingency basis. Unscrupulous firms make almost all their money from advance fees.
  • Learn More

Photo Credit: stock.xchnge

Comments
February 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm
(1) Todd J. Tocco says:

Well I can say that its all true. A group called the davidson something did that same thing to me. And they still keep e-mailing me to this day. I could only tell your readers to do it your self its cheaper. My I have two US Patent’s one of which is a self replenishing condensation to hydrogen fuel cell for your auto/home energy source. And the other is my
4-Dimensional planetary scanning laser imaging telescope, which I named CYCLOPS being made up of light it can see in the day time being a laser it can poke through any cloud cover. Oh and did I say it travels at light speed to its destination.

March 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm
(2) jessica says:

icant find wat i need on your web sit make your websit better!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 1, 2007 at 8:10 pm
(3) Mary says:

jessica
In the upper right hand corner is a search button for this website, you could use that.

March 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm
(4) Dan Larkam says:

Hello Mary,

Firstly, great article with some important information to help inventors. If only all inventors read your list before handing their money over to unscrupulous firms.

One point I would like to point out however is that some of the exact firms your warning inventors about also appear in your sponsored links section – perhaps that’s why you wrote the article?

Dan

March 19, 2007 at 9:43 am
(5) ryan says:

dude

March 28, 2007 at 2:19 pm
(6) samuel says:

plz i need ur help i am a student and also an inventor,it has being my talent for long now plz i need u to find a company thatneeds an inventor.so that iwill be able to bring my invention into reality.thanks 4rom samuel

March 29, 2007 at 3:12 am
(7) Mary Bellis says:

Dan,

My readers should exercise the same cautions for any service providers that advertise on this site as for any other website, or TV or magazine ad. I would write the same materials even if I had no ads on my website.

February 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(8) wamda says:

love your stories!

February 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm
(9) Gary Ackerman says:

The BEST advice I can give any up coming inventor, is”DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST”. By that I mean, do research on existing artwork, by using a reputable Patent Attorney. DO NOT EVER, utilize the “services” of any Firm that touts, that they will “for a heavy up front fee and subsequent Monthly payments”, shepard your invention from designs, Patent filing, brochures, graphics, mailers, mail list, etc. Any Firm that says it does it ALL and needs monies up front AND a hefty percentage of possible profits, IF your product is marketed, are to be avoided. These Firms are nothing more than leeches that prey upon the vulnerable and uninformed novice inventor. As I said earlier, get a proper and complete research report undertaken by a reputable Patent Attorney FIRST. Then, if all appears clear to patent your product, proceed to Provisional filing. Next, either do the product graphics yourself, or hire it done by a graphic artist, and proceed to formulating your letterhead and product, in 3-D format or prototype of the product you are offering, all the while using due dilligence, and getting signed Confidential disclosure agreements signed BEFORE, you discuss your idea with anyone. Next, do your research into Firms that would possibly be interested in your idea/product, and formulate how you will approach them, with your idea. Of course, in some instances, a Patent is not required, as you can go strictly Licensing. Summation of scenario from conception of idea/invention to market, is full of pitfalls, but, by using your own intuition and a lot of common sense, most can be avoided, and save you a lot of wasted money and anguish.

February 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm
(10) M.C. says:

YouTube has some excellent video and ideas for inventors, like how to write a provisional patent.

See my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/CashBackAtEbay

I don’t make videos, I just share the good ones.

December 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm
(11) R. Curly says:

Todd: Do you have a website or email?

February 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm
(12) Johnito says:

Tod J is their any chance to call you? I have more than a dozen invintions..My cell 808-3913238 or 808-6688030 Im from Hawaii
Thank You very much
John

February 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm
(13) John Daley says:

I have found product consultants to be very helpful in showing me how to minimize costs. I have three products in licensing negotiations right now. A good product development firm can be useful as well for those that dont want to do everything themselves. It’s not about whether or not you have to pay someone for their services. It is about what kind of quality of service you are getting and what your money is being invested in.

John
jdaley080808@gmail.com

February 21, 2013 at 9:14 pm
(14) joe werner says:

Mary, I have been reading your guide for over three years and yes I have made that wrong choice with Idea buyer .com (Eric Coral President). I’m not sure yet If this apparent fraudulent Rodent has Infringed on my Utility Patient yet. I signed a 10 month Fast Track Agreement along with a 4500,00 bank check around june 28th of 2012 and I am sad to say this Rodent has made a Business of using promises to bait an excited enthusiastic Inventor only to do nothing laid out in their Fast Track Agreement other than rob every cent from this Inventor and all his friends and family he asked for support with knowing there is no guarantee of success, Eric Coral and the only three other people of this Company bait a trap and then take the money from a small guy with a big dream and never give them the chance they promised before they signed there Agreement.
I hope this helps future Inventors from feeding more of these Rodents because the future relies on tomorrows Inventors. I picked myself up and dusted myself off because they just fueled my fire to work harder and I wont give up. When you want to give up is when success is just around the corner………

February 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(15) Joe Fordham says:

Dear Mary,
I need someone to tell my troubles to that will understand where I am coming from.I have patented a method of turning generators by the force of the wind that will solve all the worlds future energy rquirements. My machine is able to multiply/increase the force of the wind prior to it giving up it’s energy, many, many times the original force that the wind exherts on to it. Infact it is almost to infinity.I have waited over three years for the UK patent office to grant me a patent for this but they have recently told me that this technology is already in the public domain and was invented by Achimedes in 406AD. I have appealed a couple of weeks back and am awaiting the letter saying NAY.I am frustrated because the Patent laws are so bloody stupid. They will not even accept an IMPROVEMENT patent because we do not do such things in the UK. This stupid rule is denying this planet an idea that will revolutionise the power generation of the world. I actually think the UK have deliberately set this rule/law up so that they can sell good ideas to the rest of the world so that they can beat me to being granted a patent for.We live in a crooked world with everyone on the grab. I will let you know what the outcome is once I hear back. All Patent Agents should warn their clients of this before taking their money. We cannot all be knowledgeable about everything.

January 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm
(16) Jim Heimberger says:

Hello Mary,

Can you recommend to me to good company to proceed with about my invention?
I have been reading and doing research and still don’t know what company to use. I don’t know how to reach out to the right manufacturers.
Please help me.

Thank you in advance. ….

January 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm
(17) ELIZEU MONDLANE says:

How much is needed for me to patent im inventions??

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