Watch Out for Fraudulent Invention Services

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How do I know if an invention services company is telling the truth?

Watch Out for Fraudulent Invention Services

These days you can find just about any service online if you know how to search, and that includes invention services. These companies help inventors with the many steps involved in taking a product from its initial design stages through patenting, advertising and selling it.

If you choose to go online to find invention services, you can use search terms like: develop a new product, obtain a patent, invention help or inventor help. But be careful as many inventors have been taken for a ride by unscrupulous companies that advertised themselves as invention services specialists. For example, when complaints started pouring in about some invention promotion companies, many states enacted laws stating these firms had to disclose in writing the number of individuals who made more money from their invention than they paid in fees. Once such company could name only a few out of literally thousands of customers.

You should be aware that, if you are issued a patent, you are likely to get solicited through the mail by invention services companies and you should toss aside any that promise too much or make generalizations like "your product has real potential," or "we've licensed lots of ideas recently." Check out any claims they make. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also offers guidelines about how to spot fraudulent invention services companies. If you feel you have been approached by such a company, you can contact the FTC to report it.



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