Welcome to our second post on invention scams. In this post, we will learn about some of the more common warning signs of invention scams. As we described in our Invention Company Scams – How They Work post, there are plenty of companies out there that are ready to prey on your passion to make your invention idea a profitable reality. The more you know, the better your chances you won’t be a victim of these sorts of companies.
Risk? What risk?
Invention ideas are inherently risky. Not to let the air out of your sails but most inventions fail to make any money. If you stumble across a company that is willing to invest in your idea but fails to mention that doing so is a risky endeavor, you should probably turn around and run the other way.
We have so many success stories that we can’t possibly list them all
The invention company boasts that it has had hundreds or even thousands of success stories but they fail to provide any specific details. If you ask these invention scam companies for a list of successful clients and their contact information but they balk, chances are it’s a scam. Why? Because the very few true invention companies out there want inventors just like you to know how successful they really are and will likely bend over backwards trying to prove it to you.
Patent now before someone steals your idea
Before the America Invents Act patent reform laws were enacted, this probably wasn’t that big of a deal. However, the new patent laws focus on the first to file a patent rather than the first to invent an invention idea. It’s probably a good idea to speak with a patent attorney to find out if and how you should patent your idea now with the changes in the law. In the meantime, you should also realize that just because you decide to patent your idea doesn’t mean that you will make any money off of it. Any company that states otherwise, is bound to be an invention scam.
You’ve invented the better mousetrap
“Your idea is amazing and our panel of trained professionals including engineers, patent attorneys, and market researchers have all concluded there there is nothing like it on the market!” If you hear this line, don’t buy it. To begin with, it is highly doubtful that the invention company is a silver bullet for all of your invention idea needs. Second, if they are employing an army of highly trained professionals then how are they paying them all? Third, just because your idea was evaluated doesn’t mean that it will be successful if it ever gets to market.
Show me the money!
The salesman from the invention company has just told you that there is nothing like your idea on the market today. He then turns around and asks you for several hundred dollars before they can do a more detailed market analysis. Chances are if your idea is a sure thing but the invention company asks you for more money, then you have every right to be skeptical. By the way, if you get a detailed market analysis back from the company without having to pay anything but it shows amazing potential sales and profits don’t believe that either. Most reputable invention companies that perform a market analysis will likely show you profits in the low range and costs in the high range for your invention idea.
Can I get that in writing?
The invention company has told you a ton of amazing things but when you ask for all of those great things in writing signed by a company official, you get nothing but silence. If this is the case, you are probably dealing with an invention company scam. Even if you do get the materials in writing be sure to look over them carefully. What you are being told by the invention company may not match up with what you have received in writing.
No one’s home
Whenever you try and call the invention company directly you are always directed to a voicemail box, then you you are probably dealing with an invention scam. A vast majority of invention scam companies don’t have a physical address or may not even be an established company in the first place.
Don’t worry, we have a guarantee!
If you hear things like, “We guarantee that your idea will be a success” or “We guarantee that your patent application will be approved or your money back”, it’s a scam. No one can guarantee that your idea will be a success and only the U.S. Patent Office can determine whether your patent will be granted or not. Considering that the vast majority of patent applications are rejected by the U.S. Patent Office, you can be assured that you are dealing with an invention scam.
Hopefully, these warning signs of invention company scams will keep you from being a victim. In our next post, we’ll be talking about what is required to perform your due diligence on invention companies so that you can separate the charlatans from real deal.