Thanx Gene I'll be happy "to jump in" as there is literally tons of info on Invent-Tech. The Hulman's have sufficient common sense to realize something is amiss as well as the fortitude to research before disbursing hard-earned monies.
GENE WROTE: The Federal Trade Commission has received numerous complaints against Invent Tech.
* They sure have. One source can be found under the Freedom of Info Act: www.ftc.gov/foia/frequentrequest.htm
Run the cursor down to just under Invent-Tech's competition (ironic) namely "Invention Submission Corp" (ISC) and plenty of inquiries/complaints on "Invention Technologies (Invent-Tech)can be read.
* Review also any complaints on the U.S Patent Office complaint page: www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/dta_txt.htm#Complaints
GENE WROTE: Additionally, I have never personally heard from or spoken with anyone who has had a positive Invent Tech experience. If you are going to invest the money in your invention, in my opinion, you are always better off working with a patent attorney directly.
* Most definitely when it comes to legal. Get it done right or don't do it at all. You are not going to get a written legal opinion nor a search of the actual patent office files when one goes to many of these "outfits." Everything counts...no money turned down.
GENE WROTE: As I understand it there are also universities that might be able to evaluate the marketing potential of your invention. Licensingguru, can you comment more on this university angle?
* Will do. Firstly, you are going to pay a lot less than what any of these types of "outfits" charge and acquire a higher quality result. There are several universities to choose from. I select based on the invention/product category. Baylor for example focuses on business applications whereas Missouri focuses more on consumer inventions. Then there's Wisconsin which I tend to submit to especially if an inventor plans to take the self-Venture (versus Licensing) route to commercialization. They provide an excellent and pretty comprehensive breakdown focusing on manufacturing whereas Missouri uses a numeric value system as does Baylor ---but it has a mix. I'd suggest you use Wisconsin: http://academics.uww.edu/BUSINESS/innovate/innovate.htm
Average fees for a quality research report in categories such as: legal, manufacturing, marketing, pricing, engineering, safety, environmental impacts, and many more categories runs between $200-$650. (Outfits" throw in their free or low-cost
patent searches but don't be fooled).
While it is true universities do not perform "prior art" patent searches (legal category) it is also true that "outfits" charge $650-$850 and are done by back office clerks within their own databases followed by a salesman's (sales "Closer") phone calls hailing the "great news!" --> they found nothing like it and if you would mail $6,500 - $10,000 plus, before their next foreign trade show (in one or two weeks) they'll be able to show your invention to thousands of manufacturers and others who'll surely grab it. Truth be known,
many of these outfits do not take let alone show "inventions" (prototypes/products) (try to
acquire proof they even attended!) (Invent-Tech allegedly has three clauses in their (full of misspellings) contract and several weasel words providing reasons why to not have to attend but could hire a "rep" to walk the floors. What is shown at these shows are binders full of invention press releases from thousands of inventors who all paid too. That is the extent of marketing efforts other than spam mailings to entities who never asked for them in the first place and who may not be in the invention category let alone be qualified potential licensees.
Comparing say WISC invention report to the research report "portfolios" and/or "prospectus" from such "outfits" that look great (real glossy) but contain "generic" info any fool can find for free on the web --> it's a wonder so many inventors fall for their sweet promises of big things to come. I have ten or more from Invent-Tech and many from other "outfits" and I'll swear they all went to the same school or migrated from one outfit to another and passed the same baloney down the pike one to the other.
In closing, review the following links:
Articles of interest to this topic include:
Bullies, Handling of at: www.inventored.org/bully and,
Slapp Lawsuits: www.inventored.org/SLAPP
Finally, several examples of what might be SLAPP lawsuits some for $100,000 against inventors who complained to the BBB (re Invent-Tech) are found at:
www.miami-dadeclerk.com/civil Once there Select: (1) Standard Case Search then (2) type their name Invention Technologies in the "Party Name" box and hit Enter or Search (I forgot which).
The moral of the story is: hire some of these outfits and have plenty of loot in one's coffers to fight back --> if you dare to complain.
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