How a Corporation Says "No" to an Inventor

A Classic Invention Rejection Letter

We just received a reply on two outstanding inventions we presented to a major US company for licensing consideration. Both inventions are engineered and ready for production. One has issued US and Chinese utility patents. The other has US, Chinese and European patents pending. Both have working prototypes that look like finished products. Target users love them. And they fit perfectly into existing product lines of the company we pitched. The answer was "no" and offered nothing useful by way of explanation. But at least it was a clear no. That's something to be thankful for. Many companies don't even manage that.

Here's the letter in its entirety:


Dear Mike,

This letter will serve as confirmation that we have received your Questionnaire #_______ regarding the [invention #1] and the [invention #2].

We thank you for allowing [Big Company] to consider this idea, however; [sic] we respectfully decline your offer to consider marketing it as our focus will be occupied on other projects currently underway.

Please accept our best wishes for your success in bringing this design to the marketplace.


Vice President, Marketing


It's disappointing to receive this news of course. For the first year when I was marketing the SqueezeDriver® I kept a file of the many rejection letters we received. My plan was to make a dartboard out of them with the face of one guy in particular in the middle of it (I'd still like to punch him. He was nasty for no reason). Then things got busy and I moved on.

My point in sharing this is that even as Invention City says "no" to many of the submissions we receive, the things we say "yes" to, the ones we spend our own time time and money on, are often rejected too. We know what it feels like to hear "no" and do all we can to make the "no" we give to inventors a positive experience.

- Mike

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