Is an Invention Service Company the Solution? Very Few Inventors Ever See Successful Results

Every television viewer has seen the infomercial spot showing the forlorn, want to-be inventor, crushed, their idea being successfully marketed by another party. He did not get a patent. The answer offered in the commercial, contact an invention Submission Company, get a patent, market your product or opportunity to thousands of corporate decision-makers, get rich. This is the American Dream, is it not?

One of the saddest aspects of my work as a new product development and marketing consultant is the whole area of invention submission firms. We see dozens of entrepreneurs every year: mentally torn, financially rocked, hopes depleted after their experience with the invention mills. In a number of cases real opportunity has been slaughtered. In many other cases the product or service offered would never be a realistically viable commercial opportunity, and any capable consultant would honestly advise such.

Essentially these dream merchants are boiler rooms. After viewing the commercial and calling the toll free number, the inventor is contacted by a sales person. Submission materials are forwarded, promises made and costs are discussed. Many entrepreneurs do not have the needed investment monies to appropriately file patents, create prototypes, conduct the research and produce the documents necessary to professionally present the product.

The invention mills, however, typically offer in-house financing and advise that they take care of all of the needed elements required to professionally excite investors or license deals. Often at usurious interest rates, the hopeful inventor makes a down payment on their dream, finances the balance, and, seduced by thoughts of riches, fully buys into the program. Then reality quickly rears its ugly head.

The Patent Filing

There are two styles of patents, utility and design. Only utility has real value, offering specific protections. The design patent can be easily overcome with elemental design or art changes to a product. In addition, a relatively recent filing class has been created: the provisional patent. Essentially the provisional patent is a simple letter to the United States Patent and Trademark Office announcing to the agency that you have an idea and are keen to pursue it. It offers virtually no protection.

The provisional patent costs almost nothing to file and has a life of exactly one-year from date of filing. The provisional must then be amended to utility or design in a new filing. The invention firms have in-house attorney’s that routinely spit out the provisional filings and offer this as proof to the inventor that real patents have been filed and protections secured. Inexperienced, gullible first time entrepreneurs often believe that their product has real patent protection.

After the 12 month provisional period ends, the invention is never supported with a utility filing. The result, product protection rights are fully vacated. The inventor has a lapsed provisional and the submission firm walks away from pursuing the really valuable, and much more expensive, utility patent filing.

Securing a valuable, solid patent protection is the most touted benefit viewers of invention commercials will hear. Is a patent that important, valuable? Yes, and, no. Of course, a utility patent has immense value for any product. Given the choice, we always recommend pursuit of every patent, copyright and trademark claim possible. However, there are many non-patented, very successful products in the marketplace.

Patent strategy is crucial. It requires really experienced patent attorneys, fully committed to securing every possible protection available. That is not available from invention submission firms.

Create a Prototype

It is almost impossible to successfully market a new product without production quality prototypes. This requires diligence, creativity, sophisticated skills and equipment.  reviews on InventHelpThe steps usually involve a mix of creative meetings, several 3-D, Computer Assisted Graphic (CAD) drawings, a rough model, styling tweaks and then the final model(s). The art is essential as exhibits in utility patent filings, as a tool for source of supply and to determine cost of goods. The models affirm commitment, features and benefits, product uniqueness and viability. Invention mills provide virtually none of this.

The inventor will receive an in-house generated piece of 3-D art. That’s it! No models, prototypes or hardware! This will be the basis for the campaign to market the submission for sale, joint venture or license. And, it can not work, ever.

The inventor provides a verbal description, or self-generated renderings, that are revised by in-house artists. There are almost never face to face meetings, essential to the creative process. The result is a piece of art that appears professional to the inexperienced. This is the prototype. It is sophomoric, unusable for the intended purpose of exciting investors.

Marketing the Invention

With the patent (provisional, of little value) and model (a drawing, of no value) in hand the product invention is ready to be sold, supposedly. Selling, marketing or partnering a product opportunity is hard work and requires contacts, research, experience in highly targeted areas, networking, attending trade shows and tenacity. No is a word heard many, many times more often than the word yes is heard. reviews on InventHelp

How does the invention submission firm approach deal making? They take shortcuts, and shortcuts are death to opportunity. Shortcut number one is blind mailings. A list of companies and contact names is used and a cover letter, copy of the art and nothing else is mailed as a teaser. Anyone can relate to the results of this approach. Executives and corporate decision- makers never respond to junk mail, and that is what this type of submission really is.

The inter-net is a wonderful invention, and, of course, the invention clearing- houses really enjoy this tool, shortcut number-two. Mass e-mailings, unsolicited, otherwise known as junk mail, are a group favorite. The results are always the same, no deal.

Shortcut number-three, the product is added to an encyclopedia of the firm’s past product’s, and the book is offered as a repository of business opportunities for commercialization. A hard copy is available for viewing or on-line access is available. Unfortunately, this completely reverses normal progression of deal making.

 

 

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