This is the second client in a month coming to me after contacting an invention promotion company. This firm at least did a respectable patentability search, but they buried it in 200 pages of a slick, yearbook-looking Product Summary Digest. 180 pages of this book were boilerplate, marketing industry jargon, interspersed with an occasional mention of my client’s name or product. This client paid $800, of which probably $750 went to the patent agent who did the search. At least this was a reasonable amount for a patent search, signed by someone with a name and a legitimate license to do this type of work.
But at the end of the day, my client thought he was going to get help preparing a patent application. Instead, he got a request for more money, for additional marketing services. This company spends almost this entire book extolling the virtues of this product (and IMHO it was clever and elegant) and how marketable it is, but evaluates its patentability. In fact, there is no suggestion anywhere that my client consult with a patent attorney.
The client started becoming confused and skeptical of this outfit and gave me a call. I am glad he did. I read the search report and was able to tell him in an office visit his invention had been done before, 40 and 60 years ago, and not to spend time or money patenting it, at least not without more of an improvement. I was also able to tell him of some other options, such as manufacturing this product, or licensing it for others to make. If he were to go down this road, then I would recommend looking at an infringement search. Do you think this company would have offered this?
I wish more people would ask more questions before spending more money. The only people who get rich quick from inventions are invention promotion companies…
Are you beginning to see a theme here?