There are many ways to spot product invention companies that are legit. These companies claim to evaluate inventions, research patents, and contact manufacturers for clients. However, several of these businesses have been investigated by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other government agencies. As an inventor looking to start a business, the US Patent Office estimates the country loses close to $300 million per year by falling for these scams. However, there are legitimate versions of these businesses. You can also hire a patent attorney to help you along with the process. Read on to discover what to look for in product invention companies that are legit.
Successful Invention Odds
Understanding the odds of your invention being successful is one step in determining the legitimacy of product invention companies. About 1 in 1,000 inventions makes the transition from the idea stage to a full marketplace. Additionally, most inventors believe their invention will be that 1 in 1,000 that becomes successful. This way, they are more accepting of disreputable companies that claim to make their invention successful. Many inventors believe these scams are trying to steal their inventions, but it’s not financially efficient to steal ideas with a 1 in 1,000 chance of being successful. Instead, these companies offer products and services designed to get significant amounts of money out of you, regardless of your successful invention odds. Surely, look for product invention companies that are upfront about these odds to avoid these scams.
Technical experience of the employees and attorneys involved is a second thing to look for in legitimate product invention companies. While many inventions and patent services deal within specific industries, research the company and any related service providers, such as attorneys. Look at their experience in your invention’s specific industry. This way, you determine their marketing and development expertise as it relates to your invention. Next, ask your provider for a list of successful past clients that serve as references. Their refusal to provide this is a large red flag. Third, evaluate the track record of the attorneys a prospective company works with. You’ll know a company is reputable when their retained patent attorneys have clear, successful records for trademark inventions. Absolutely, consider the technical expertise of any prospective product invention companies to determine their legitimacy.
Learning to spot dishonesty and flat out lies significantly impacts your chances of spotting illegitimate product invention companies. Since the odds of successful inventions are so low, fraudulent businesses will never be upfront about them. Often, they charge an upfront fee to promote your invention to retailers and do a patent search. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has about 8 million patents on file. Therefore, professional patent searches by reputable attorneys will almost always come up with something at least tangentially related to your idea. Additionally, legitimate invention marketing firms work on commission instead of upfront fees. This way, they only get paid if you do. Upfront fees, however, do nothing to prevent firms from not fulfilling their promises, since they already have your money. Of course, spotting dishonesty is a great help in weeding out illegitimate invention companies.
Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999
The Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999 awards you many protections related to dealing with invention promoters. Before signing a contract with you, a product invention company must provide certain information from their last five years of operation. This information includes the number of inventions evaluated and whether those evaluations were positive or negative. Additionally, they must disclose their total number of customers, how many of them profited, and how many of them licensed their inventions. This information helps you figure out how selective the firm has been in the inventions it promotes, and their rates of success. Certainly, knowing how the Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999 protects you is another thing to look for in reputable product invention companies.
US Patent And Trademark Office
Finally, the US Patent and Trademark Office is a great resource for spotting illegitimate product invention companies. They offer complete information on patents and processes related to getting them, in addition to common red flags to look out for. For example, they advise inventors to beware of guarantees of any kind. They also warn against being guided into a design patent, which covers the aesthetic look of your invention and not its functions. Moreover, be sure to conduct a variety of types of patent searches for the best protection. Additionally, they advise not to sign anything without having your own attorney evaluate the documents. Definitely, the US Patent and Trademark Office provides many resources for spotting illegitimate product invention companies.
There is a myriad of things to look for in reputable product invention companies. One thing is the odds they claim of a successful invention, as they are so low that any company not upfront about them is often fraudulent. Another item is the technical expertise of the company’s employees, as well as any related service providers, such as attorneys. Evaluate their honesty in describing the patent search and retail marketing services they provide. Aherence to the Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999 represents a huge factor in determining a company’s legitimacy. Finally, look for details the US Patent and Trademark Office warns against to ensure the legitimacy of your product invention company. When wondering what to look for in legitimate product invention companies, consider the points described above.