Inventhelp offers a free “inventors package” that includes a “Non-Disclosure Form & Confidential Agreement” which they want to you to fill-out and return for a free review.
After a week or so, an “invention consultant” will call you (or send an email) to tell you that your idea has been “accepted” by their firm. Additionally, they’ll tell you that: 1) your idea has tremendous potential, 2) their research dept. is very excited about it, 3) they’ve never seen anything like it, 4) there’s nothing else on the market that is similar, and 5) you could make a lot of money.
Next, they’ll send you a contract for $300 – $1500 for “a research report,” and they’ll tell you that if the report comes back “negative” – you’ll receive a full refund (beware: none of these reports are negative or critical). In fact, each report is filled with standard language (boilerplate) that describe the various stages for developing any invention. You might also receive “a preliminary” patent search (which is completely unreliable) along with a drawing and some other useless information. At the conclusion of the report, it will state that your idea is sound, practical, or useful. So, now the company wants to submit your idea to the manufacturing “industry” and bilk more money from you.
Within ten days, you’ll receive an “Invention Submission Agreement” asking for $2,000 – $20,000 that will provide completely useless services for developing and promoting your idea. They’ll probably give you a choice: you can pay a very high amount and keep 90% of your “future royalties” or you can pay a few thousand dollars less and keep 65% – 70%. This ploy is just a trick to encourage you to pay the highest fee and keep the highest percentage of “royalties” (that you’ll never see) – for example: you can pay $12,000 and keep 90% of future “royalties” or pay $10,000 and keep 80% or pay $8,000 and keep 70%. Most inventors choose the $12,000 – 90% plan because they’ve been convinced by the salesman (invention consultant) that they’re going to make millions.
They may also want to file a “Design Patent” which only protects the exact outer shape of your idea. However, a Design Patent does not protect the way the invention works. In some cases, the invention company will offer to file a “Provisional Patent Application” which does not protect the design and function of your idea. This application simply registers your invention at The US Patent Office on a specific date for $130 and gives you one year to file a real patent application (non-provisional). After the one year has expired, you will still need to file a real patent application (usually $8,500 – $15,000 for a simple invention). Needless to say, the invention company has no intention of paying for a real patent application that offers the only form of legal protection.
Your consultant will continue to deceive you by stating that: 1) the company will use every form of promotion to license or sell your invention, 2) you could receive a “cash-buyout” of millions of dollars, 3) you might receive a 5% royalty in addition to a huge upfront payment, and 3) they will pay all the costs associated with securing a royalty agreement (beware: they rarely – if ever – receive any legitimate interest from reputable manufacturers, corporations, venture capitalists, or organizations).
Now, this is just a small dose of the lies, misrepresentations, and outright deceptions that you will encounter with every single invention marketing company that asks you for money. So, how do they stay in business? Well, many of these firms have been closed down by the Federal Trade Commission. However, new ones keep popping-up who are more clever than their predecessors. For example, in their contracts, they include mandatory “Warnings to Inventors” that disclose the high-risk nature of inventing and the fact that most inventors lose their money. Federal and State laws require all invention companies to include a long list of warnings that describe the perils of trying to launch a new product.
The problem is that the salesman (invention consultants) are unbelievably skillful at dismissing these warnings and know exactly how to keep you hyped up. When you speak to a salesman on the phone (or in their office) they are well-rehearsed at making you believe that your invention has a very good chance of success; and it’s one of the best they’ve ever seen. Also, they’ll pump you up by saying: “this could be your one chance to make a fortune.”
The salesmen will stop at nothing. They’ll call you day and night to tell you how excited they are about your invention. They’ll also tell you that if you don’t market this invention – someone else will – and they’ll make all the money. The truth is: your salesman will say anything to motivate you to pay the fee because they receive a huge commission on your payments. In fact everyday, your salesman is telling other inventors the same exact lies that they’re telling you. Somewhere along the line, these salesman have lost their conscience and will say whatever is necessary to get your money.
You may find it hard to believe that these “nice consultants” are devious liars because they all sound so sincere on the phone or at their office. They seem to be your best buddy, but in reality they’re your worst nightmare; they know that you’ll never make a dime, and they couldn’t care less. For these consultants – it’s all about the commission.
Question: Are all fee-based invention marketing companies a scam? YES! (especially those that advertise on TV and the internet).
Within 4 months, you’ll feel the pangs of regret and realize that your invention company has absolutely no expertise in marketing inventions. Call the Attorney General in Pittsburg - they know all about Inventhelp and its former names: Invention Submission Corp, Invention Marketing Inc., IntroMark and others.
Product or Service Mentioned: Invent Help Invention Service.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.