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Are you ready to patent and market an invention? If so, you may be looking for help – and bogus invention-promotion firms may be looking for you. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a lawsuit against two companies and their owner for running an invention-promotion scam that took thousands of dollars from people and, in many cases, stole their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

The FTC alleges that instead of providing the patent and invention promotion services they promised, the defendants lied, deceived, and intimidated their customers. They claimed to have successfully marketed other inventions that resulted in royalties and sales, but according to the FTC, virtually no one who contracted with them made any money. They also sold “global” patents that supposedly were valid anywhere in the world, but this wasn’t true. If customers said they were going to report the company to the Better Business Bureau or post a bad review online, the FTC says defendants or their lawyers would often threaten to sue them, citing baseless but intimidating charges like extortion and defamation. 

If you’re looking for an invention-promotion firm, take note:

  • Only a few inventions ever make it to the marketplace.
  • Steer clear of any company that promises your idea will be patented or that you will make money. In fact, getting a patent can provide valuable protection, but it may not increase the chances of you making money.
  • Check out online reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. Dishonest companies ask people to write positive reviews, but won’t allow you to post negative ones.
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the company.

Need more help? Check out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. Look for the Inventors Assistance Center. And if you think you’ve spotted an invention-promotion scam, report it to the FTC. Your report may help stop it.

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14 Comments

ANTONIO S (not verified)
March 15, 2017
I aproved
jose ideas (not verified)
March 17, 2017
deseo recibir las actualizaciones
cmiranda
March 22, 2017

In reply to by jose ideas (not verified)

Hola Jose,

Haz clic aquí para recibir actualizaciones.

Gracias.

JaruhungsinDon… (not verified)
March 15, 2017
Thank for protect people financial
i10268440 (not verified)
March 17, 2017
En el ano 1979 mande una idea a un promotor de inventos ubicado en new york, con el objeto de comercilizar el diseno de una nueva almohada,pero no pude pagar por sus servicios,ya que en esos anos trabajaba como lavatrastes en Chicago.y ahora ya salieron dos tipos de almohada basados en mi idea,uno de ellos es la marca SOGNARE,podria yo reclamar algo sobre esos productos? Muchas gracias
Gerardo (not verified)
March 18, 2017
Gracias por el informe boy a tener mas precausion cuando invente algo.
Arca. (not verified)
March 15, 2017
I like your article.
snbttrucking (not verified)
March 15, 2017
Looking for help
The Only One (not verified)
March 16, 2017
Good job again like allways keep pushing , And keep up the good work
w8ngladee (not verified)
March 16, 2017
I sent an idea to one of these companies years ago, and was watching the news recently and saw a man being rescued because of the idea I submitted. They wanted me to send them $349 but I didn't.
educatio (not verified)
March 17, 2017
Nice inventions ideas are shared through this post... Thank you!!!
harry (not verified)
March 17, 2017
I need a list of legit companies I can trust
Vic (not verified)
July 07, 2017
i have been scammed by one of the big firms for $8600,I got a patent for my invention but I don`t even know if it has any value ,if I can go ahead and try to work with another invention firm.They should be put in prisons for a long time all these scumbags !
jodes (not verified)
July 10, 2017
I was scammed and reported this company to BBB/FTC