Investigate invention companies thoroughly. “If you're going to do business with them, check them out thoroughly… [G]o beyond credit and court checks. It may even be worth hiring a private investigator.” Invention company advice. Invention marketing company tips. Invention firms. (Pamela H. Riddle, chief executive of Innovative Product Technologies quoted in Marcia Heroux Pounds, “Licensing Offer Inventors A Safe Path to Production,” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, November 10, 1998)
Talk with successful inventors about their experiences with invention marketing companies. “Find out what specific products the firm has successfully marketed. Then follow up with the inventors themselves. If getting this information proves a problem, walk away.” Legitimate invention submission companies. Invention promotion company and invention marketing advice. (Caryne Brown, “Making money making toys: how black inventors are bringing innovative ideas to the toy market”, Black EnterpriseBlack Enterprise, November 1, 1993) Listen to NPR stories about successful inventors.
Do you need help finding legitimate invention companies? If so, you might want to contact Inventors Workshop, one of the nation's oldest and most trusted nonprofit inventor support organizations. Inventors Workshop has been providing inventor help services for more than 35 years. You can email IWI or call them at 805-879-1729.
There are legitimate invention companies out there. "There are legitimate promoters out there, but they never advertise. They have more clients than they need. None of the people who advertise on TV are legitimate -- not one of them -- they run a scam on people and it takes them years to realize they have been scammed. They are sleaze bags. What they do to these people is horrendous." Legitimate invention companies. Inventor scams. (Ronald J. Riley, executive director of InventorEd (www.inventored.org) and president of the Professional Inventors Alliance quoted in Leroy Standish, “Are marketing companies worthwhile for inventors?,”Victorville Daily Press, Victorville, CA, August 23, 2005)
How much money do inventors lose in invention scams annually? How large are the fines and how long are the prison sentences imposed by courts on companies found guilty of invention scams?
For household inventions try to license your invention to companies who are suppliers to Target and Wal-Mart. “For a household item, for example, consider companies that supply retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart. Kansas City-based Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Co. has been making basic products like spray starch and scrubbing cleansers for 120 years. But 30 years ago it got into more complex specialty products such as the Garden Weasel, a garden bed cultivator/weeder. The product was so successful, the company started licensing other inventions. The company looks at hundreds of ideas a year, considers dozens, and perhaps finds a couple good enough to license.” Companies accepting inventions. Getting invention ideas to market. (Joyce Smith, Business Columnist, “Seeing your invention through: Entrepreneur week helps highlight some success stories of those who dream big,” Kansas City Star, February 27, 2007)
Understand the needs of the corporations that market inventions. “[I]nventors need to understand the needs and the dynamics of corporations that can license, manufacture and market their inventions. While independent inventors still get tens of thousands of patents each year, the vast majority of these never produce a dime in sales. The reason… …is that inventors often suffer from a myopia that prevents them from understanding the broader challenges of moving from the garage shop to the marketplace.” Invention marketing services. Marketing an invention. (Richard C. Levy, author of Inventing and patenting sourcebook: How to sell and protect your ideas, cited in Edmund L. Andrews, “Inventor Offers Advice On Ways to Market Ideas”, New York Times News Service, The Journal Record, September 5, 1992) Richard C. LevyPurchase books about inventing by Richard C. Levy. See his successful invention FurbyFurby, occasionally spelled "furbieFurbie," commercially available online.
Don’t give up. “You may approach 100 people before finally finding the right one [for licensing a product]. Inventors must be both persistent and innovative when looking for the right licensing candidate. So take every approach possible and don't give up. Remember, the right contact might just be the next person you talk to.” Invention marketing company. Invention promotion company. (Don Debelak, “How to find a company to make and market an invention,” EntrepreneurEntrepreneur, April 1, 2001) Discover more publications about entrepreneurship and inventing by Don Debelak.
Be prepared with cost estimates and the fundamentals of a marketing strategy. “[Inventors] should be able to present cost estimates and the fundamentals of a marketing strategy, and they need to build credibility with decision makers in the company who can act as their inside champions.” (Richard C. Levy, author of Inventing and patenting sourcebook: How to sell and protect your ideas, quoted in Edmund L. Andrews, “Inventor Offers Advice On Ways to Market Ideas”, N.Y. Times News Service, The Journal Record, September 5, 1992) Richard C. LevyPurchase books about inventing by Richard C. Levy. See his successful invention FurbyFurby, occasionally spelled "furbieFurbie," commercially available online.
Don’t spend all of your time courting established product licensing companies. “Most of the people or companies that actually license products are not established companies, but rather start-ups or individuals wanting to launch businesses. So, as an inventor, you need to explore all your options when trying to license your idea — don't spend all your time courting established companies. They're overwhelmed with innovations from myriad inventors and don't have time to evaluate everything.” Invention submission to product licensing companies. (Don Debelak, “How To Find A Company To Make And Market An Invention” EntrepreneurEntrepreneur, April 1, 2001)
Know the difference between a product development company and an invention marketing company. “Product development companies provide complete prototyping, manufacturing, packaging, finance, marketing and legal assistance at cost-efficient levels for people who do not know how to capitalize on their brilliant ideas. It is mostly suitable for highly complex ideas as services are quite expensive. …Although the two are sometimes confused, product development companies and invention development companies are not the same. When you thumb through the backs of many magazines, you'll see advertisements for invention development companies or invention marketing companies. The ads offer a quick and easy way to get your idea to market for an up-front fee. These companies offer such services as a patent search, marketing reports, development and distribution contacts, and more. The services are all done for a variety of fees and for a percentage of profits from your idea. The companies' sales approach is usually high-pressure. They will flatter you by telling you how great your idea is and appeal to your sense of guilt for not having what it takes to develop it.” Private invention firms. (Tomima Edmark, Entrepreneur, “Know-it-alls: product development companies make getting your invention to market a cinch,” December 1, 1997)
Avoid invention promotion companies. “Experienced inventors say the worst thing an independent inventor can do is to pay an "invention promotion" company to market the product. "If you see one of those, run like the wind," [says Raoul DrapeauRaoul Drapeau, an independent inventor in Vienna, Virginia]. The problem with such firms, invention experts say, is that they often promise to help market an invention before they even know what it is, and have no qualms about taking money from inventors whose ideas they know will likely fail in the marketplace. The Office of Independent Inventor Programs issues warnings against companies who are suspected of scamming naive inventors. [Inventors Digest] publishes a "Red Flag" list of companies to avoid. Often, these companies advertise on television and radio, and have governmental-sounding names.” Invention submission. Private invention firms. (Tim Lemke, “Invention + market savvy = successful product”, The Washington Times, April 16, 2001) See independent inventor Raoul Drapeau's book "The Art & Methods of Invention."