Skip to main content

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.

Search Terms

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

March 15, 2017
I aproved
March 15, 2017
Thank for protect people financial
March 15, 2017
I like your article.
March 15, 2017
Looking for help
The Only One
March 16, 2017
Good job again like allways keep pushing , And keep up the good work
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.
March 17, 2017
Nice inventions ideas are shared through this post... Thank you!!!
March 17, 2017
I need a list of legit companies I can trust
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 !
July 10, 2017
I was scammed and reported this company to BBB/FTC