Inventor Wants to Proceed After "No" from Invention City

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Invention City's program for helping clients works opposite everyone else in the industry. If you've been through our site you know that we look at inventions as prospective investors and mostly say "no". We explain the no and give suggestions on next steps. Our Brutally Honest Review process evolved from our own experience with our own inventions. We know that most inventions fail, even great ones.

However, as inventors and entrepreneurs we also understand that passion and perseverance can sometimes win the day. We never say never.

Here is an email I just received from a former client we said "no" to. 

Hello guys some time has passed since we last talked. [My invention] is still very much in my mind. And now more than ever after doing research I know it can be done. The top six guidance system companies are all possible to latch on to the idea. I don't have a prototype and don't need one with companies like this, they know how this stuff works they build it. Anyway I don't know if you want to help in any way, if not I'm going to [xyz co].

I put his last line in bold to emphasize it. That line upset me. Not because of the threat that he'd take his business elsewhere, but because our program is designed to help inventors like him make good decisions. Going to the invention company he named would not be a good decision. Here's my response:

Hello Don - Great to hear from you again. I certainly understand your passion to pursue your invention and if you go to a company like [xyz co] you'll get the feeling that you're doing something. They'll probably put you in a program where you'll spend approx $10,000 to get an animated video of your idea, a provisional patent, some sort of listing on their website or a commitment to show at a trade show.

But please be clear that the odds of something happening after you spend that money are far less than 1% (ask [xyz co] how many of their clients make enough money to cover the cost of their services - and then try and confirm what they tell you with another source). That's an expensive lottery ticket in my book.

Read BBB reviews here: [link to reviews of xyz co]

If you really need to do this, the only way to do it responsibly is to take the steps yourself. Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Contact prospective licensees on your own and ask if they're interested in learning about and possibly licensing a better way to [description of main benefit of invention]. If you can't find a company that's interested in learning more, the odds are that no one else can either. You can stop right there.
IF you find someone interested, tell them you're working on a presentation and will get back to them soon. Then you invest in:

  • Animation of your invention idea - cost approx $2-4000
  • Provisional patent - cost approx $1-2000 (you can write and file on your own for less than $100)
We can provide you with references to take those steps above when you're ready.

Best,
Mike

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