Are invention promotion companies trustworthy?
What are invention promotion companies?
Have you ever seen an advertisement on Youtube or heard one on the radio from a group that says they can bring your invention forward and help you make money from it? They usually show some great examples of inventions they have sold for millions of dollars. These are "invention promotion companies" and unfortunately most of them are a big waste of money for 99% of all inventors like you.
Because these companies get into so much trouble and inventors have lost millions working with them, they are now required by law to provide you (in writing) with specific information regarding their past business practices. This information must include:
1. The total number of inventions evaluated by the invention promoter for commercial potential in the past five years, as well as the number of those inventions that received positive evaluations, and the number of those inventions that received negative evaluations.
This information is good for determining how much experience they have and if they operate by telling everyone that they have a great invention.
2. The total number of customers who have contracted with the invention promoter in the past five years, not including customers who have purchased trade show services, research, advertising, or other non-marketing services from the invention promoter, or who have defaulted in their payment to the invention promoter
This can tell you how large their operation is and how many people have paid them.
3. The total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received a net financial profit as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter
This will tell you how many of their clients made a profit by using their services.
4. The total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received license agreements for their inventions as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter
This will tell you how many of their clients ended up getting a license with a company for their invention.
5. The names and addresses of all previous invention promotion companies with which the invention promoter or its officers have collectively or individually been affiliated in the previous 10 years
This information is great for determining if the company frequently changes its name to avoid bad reviews.
So, are invention promotion companies trustworthy? Well, that depends on the company. A good way to check out the company that you are interested in is by using the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website and searching with the word “invention” (use this link) and adding the name of the company to the search bar and read any results that appear.
Another good rule of thumb is that it is best to be wary of any firm that promises too much and/or costs too much. And finally, if any invention promotion firm is offering to help you with your patent you should run away. I have been in this business for 22+ years and have never seen a good patent attorney or patent firm work with one of these groups so anyone who claims to help with your patent and invention marketing should be carefully questioned. Make sure to look up your patent person on the US Patent Office website to make sure they are properly registered. USPTO Link
Note that we here at PatentFile, LLC are not invention promoters. We only offer patent services such as patent search, patent drafting, and patent filing. You can read more about us here.