Invention Help from a Single Company…or Not?

May 2, 2015

Many invention help companies may be found online that purport to provide the combined services of marketing, patenting, and engineering development. The idea is to give a single location that an inventor may go to “get it all done” without much effort. The idea is great, but the execution may be difficult and painful.

The process usually begins with an interview followed by a fee to conduct a novelty search on the invention. At which point the invention is declared patentable and discussion is had with respect to a packaged deal for the three services. The single package will include all the fees necessary to go through initial marketing.

So what is the problem? We receive multiple calls a month from disgruntled and upset customers to these types of companies. The issues we predominantly hear about are as follows:

1) Lack of communication except when more money is needed.

2) Ever increasing fees to do the original quoted package.

3) Failed performance on engineering work.

4) Failed marketing – refusal to give any status or who has been spoken to about the invention.

5) Stuck in making payments for nothing.

6) No accountability for promises made.

In general, it boils down to too much money in all the wrong places. Over the years, we have become very familiar with how these companies operate. The statistics are heavily weighted against you. So what can be done?

Typically the best thing to do is to seek a patent attorney’s help if you want a patent or to check a potential invention. They can guide you through the process and meet with you directly. They can help with negotiations, licensing, and trademarks too. For engineering, contact an engineer. Some patent attorneys know engineers willing to help (with a fee naturally) and can give you the guidance you need. With respect to marketing, there is no easy way around it. Your efforts are necessary unless you have large amounts of cash to put into marketing agencies. The process is doable for those that put forth the effort. We have seen it happen with our clients.

The Law Office of Jeff Williams has made it a point to network and compile a team of different companies, incubators, or individuals that can help assist you during the invention process. Contact us for a consultation.

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Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner.  He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.    
 Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005.  He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree.  He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010.  By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.