There are a number of companies and individuals out there that identify passionate inventors that want to file patents for their inventions as suckers, and inventors need to protect themselves from scams. They will tell you your invention is a winner, and seek to turn your enthusiasm for your invention idea into a lucrative marketing and licensing contract for them. They’ll almost always tell you your idea is great, has incredible potential, and they can help you monetize your invention. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fraudulent invention promotion firms offer inventors two services in a two-step process: one involves a research report or market evaluation of your idea that can cost up to one thousand dollars, or more. The other involves patenting or marketing and licensing services, which can cost you several thousand dollars.  Rarely, will you find a valid professional patent firm that offers a variety of marketing type services and licensing.  This patent professional has spent many days re-writing, drafting and filing fixes or continuations for clients that got the short end of the stick from these fraudulent patent firms. These entities are famous for using newly graduated, inexperienced patent attorneys, or none at all. There are several ways you can easily protect yourself. Ask for a United States Patent and Trademark (USPTO) registration number for the person writing or drafting your patent application. Please read the USPTO’s “Scam Prevention” page and the information about “Invention Promotion Firms” at the FTC’s website. Also, be sure to see online ratings from other consumers on websites such as Google, Yelp, etc. A valid patent agent or patent attorney will be registered at the USPTO and have a track record of issued patents at the USPTO.

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