Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

IPWatchdog Sued by Invention Submission Corporation (dba InventHelp).

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on January 27, 2010

 

Per this post at the IPWatchdog last week, patent law blogger Gene Quinn is being sued by Invention Submission Corporation (ISC), an invention promotion company that currently does business as “InventHelp®”.  A copy of the complaint may be downloaded here.

IPWatchdog has long been a vocal critic of invention promotion companies, and for good reason.  As most patent attorneys and agents will attest, invention promotion companies do not directly compete with patent law firms.  Rather, many invention promotion companies provide dubious invention marketing services (and patent services by referral) at a very high cost to clients.  Indeed, horror stories from clients who have been victimized by invention promotion companies abound at most patent law firms.  

But Gene is not alone in trying to spread the word about unscrupulous invention promotion companies.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been highly critical of invention promoters.  The USPTO maintains a list of published complaints against invention promotion companies here, and goes as far as providing a downloadable form that may be completed and submitted to the USPTO for such complaints.  The USPTO also publishes a good brochure on scam prevention that details the various “hooks” that are used by invention promotion companies to lure inventors into scams. 

The FTC further provides general facts for consumers, with good advice on what to look out for when dealing with an invention promotion company.  With respect to ISC, in particular, this frequently requested record with a list of ISC complaints from the FTC web site is informative.

In summary, all inventors should be wary of becoming involved with any invention promotion company.  At the very least, inventors should exercise all due care in investigating whomever they are considering engaging to handle their patent matters.

For further reading on this topic, our readers are also referred to these earlier AT! posts about invention promoters: Help, I’ve been scammed by an Invention Promoter!; and Bender v. Dudas

JW Note:  This is not the first time that ISC has sued based on warnings to the public about invention promotion companies.  See this 2004 post at the PatentlyO patent law blog, detailing ISC’s failed attempt to petition the SCOTUS after its lawsuit against the USPTO, which had conducted an advertising compaign warning the public of invention promotion scams, was dismissed at district court and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

18 Responses

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  1. Daryn said, on April 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    looking for people to join me in a class action suit against inventhelp, my attorney wants me to build a list of names. in and around california riverside county.

    • Lara said, on October 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Im in,how do I go about get my name in this lawsuit? Can u please email me with all the details and lawyer info. Thank you

    • guido m. said, on November 5, 2011 at 2:02 am

      Did you ever submit the class action suit? I was robbed by them as well

    • barbara cox said, on November 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

      i lost 10,000.00.

  2. TINA said, on June 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    What happened to you? I have an invention in mind and an appointment with IventHelp next week. After reading this article I feel leary about keeping the appointment. Could you shed some light?

    Thanks

    my email SK1389@aol.com

  3. leonard johnson said, on January 8, 2011 at 2:54 am

    we are in Antelope, Ca in sacto. Do you know of a suit in this area

  4. Gregg said, on January 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I spent around $10,000 and went nowhere. Needless to say, I didn’t have the money to spend either.

  5. Fotis Mitsopoulos said, on January 28, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I paid Invention Submission Corporation £4500 for nothing. How do these people sleep at night. Had I had the Internet at the time I would have researched ISC and not touched them with a barge pole.

  6. chris cummins said, on March 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    invent help is no good to me they took $800.00 FROM ME

  7. chris cummins said, on March 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I DON’T LIKE INVENT HELP

  8. bert said, on April 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I suggest everyone go to IP Watchdog and read for themselves about this type of con

  9. jdcharlie said, on March 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I spent around $10,000 and went nowhere fast. Not sure how they sleep at night but I hope they have one eye open and always look over their shoulders. I found another site where I listed my invention and have gotten a few hits. No promises or sales but at least people have seen my item. http://www.nextbestinvention.com

  10. nicholasblakeman said, on March 25, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Please dont get fooled like i did this is a scam and how do we get help
    after being ripped off by invent help

  11. nicholasblakeman said, on March 25, 2013 at 2:21 am

    How do we stop invention submission corpation for good dont let them steal youre ideas

  12. nicholasblakeman said, on March 25, 2013 at 2:23 am

    im disabled and the took avantige of my dreams and stole my ideas

  13. Tribal Trance said, on April 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I’m Over These Crooks, They stole $6.000 out of my Pocket. Dave Parker and His Bogus Bunch,
    They Belong in Gitmo Bay.

  14. Dee Ramirez said, on June 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I spend more then 3,000.00 on a lot of lies, they were going to help me market my invention, but after they got my money, they never answered or call me. it’s INVENTION IDEA DESIGN. no help, just promises,

    they sent lists of companies that hat nothing to do with my invention.

    • Derwood said, on June 22, 2013 at 7:11 am

      I still have all the pictures of magazines that IS sent me after giving them my $3000.00. Sending pictures was their way of making me think my product would be marketed soon. Now 14 years later I find my heated suite on the market! They had a one room office in the middle of a tower of other one week rentals to catch as many as possible.
      I was one of the gullible young they feed on. After giving them the check they said (Why don’t you go have yourself a nice dinner down the street and bring the receipt to us next time we meet) Needless to say we never got a call back after trying to reach them for months.


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