You must be careful not to fall for the many invention scams that target inventors. Some have been in the news lately and it has not been flattering. Several well known invention promotion companies have been sued by the inventors they are supposed to be helping. These inventors cried fowl when their invention did not pan out like expected.
Lawsuits determined inventors using these services were achieving incredibly low rates of success by working with these companies. In some cases as few as 0.05% of the inventors that paid for services received more money back from their invention than was paid out.
Not only that, these invention promotion companies were charging tens of thousands of dollars for their services. In many cases they act like used care salesman and use high pressure tactics to get inventors to pay high fees for services they may not have needed and certainly were not getting a value for.
While speaking with one of these firms recently at a trade show the salesman told me that he never makes a judgment about an invention. He said he could never tell which ideas will be successful and which will fail. In his eyes all inventions were equal and any one of them could be the next big thing.
Having been in this business for over 10 years now I can assure that all ideas are not equal and it is usually easy to determine which ideas need to be dumped because they had no chance of success. Unfortunately for the inventors talking to this salesman an idea that obviously (to someone in the consumer products business) would never sell is treated the same way as an idea with true potential. This typically means that patents get filed and prototypes get made. All at great expense to the inventor and great profit to the invention promotion company.
One of the most common ways these companies get your information is by offering an inventors kit. Beware of who you give your information to. It could end up costing you a lot of money.
If you think there should be a better way you are right. You will never hear it from a salesman running an invention scam but it really is simple. Evaluate your idea thoroughly first. Don't take a salesman's word for it. Do your own research or have someone you trust do the research for you.
Once you determine the demand for your idea and are confident that you can make and sell the product at a profit (or someone else can), then and only then are your ready to invest in patents and prototypes.
A few of the companies that have had problems in the past include:
Before you decide to work with anyone on your invention be sure to check them out fully. A few questions to ask:
Protecting yourself from invention scams is mostly about using common sense. Buyer beware.
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