Should I use a patent promotion organization to patent my invention?
UPDATED: February 23, 2011
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No, you should not use patent promotion organizations. You have probably seen or heard advertisements from firms urging inventors to contact them for assistance in promoting and "protecting" their inventions. These so-called patent promotion organizations typically promise that, for a "small fee", they will help you to develop and protect your invention and then promote it to thousands of interested companies. Our advice to you is to BEWARE. The Better Business Bureau and nearly all patent attorneys agree.
Many patent promotion organizations are nothing but schemes to overcharge investors and take their money. If your invention is actually commercially viable, some patent protection firms essentially steal it. These patent firms will often try to flatter you into going through them to patent your invention by telling you how "great your invention is;" as true as this might be, before you consider giving them your business, you should consult a patent attorney or really read the fine print. If you believe that you have been defrauded by a patent promotion firm, an attorney may be able to help you get your money back.
The best path for new inventors is to first complete the invention and then apply for their own United States patent. The cost of a patent is minuscule compared to the amount you may make from selling your product. Best of all, you can file your patent application without the help of an attorney or patent promotion organization. In fact, the process is very user-friendly. For detailed information on filing a patent application, log onto the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website.
After your patent is filed and confirmed, then it's time to market your product. If you don't have enough revenue to manufacture your invention, consider consulting private, non-profit organizations. These organizations specialize in guiding new business owners through the start-up phases and sometimes will even provide grant money for promising business owners. If you would prefer to avoid the hassles of selling your product yourself, you can also contact larger businesses who may be interested in purchasing or licensing your patent and producing the product themselves. The possibilities are endless for inventors to succeed with their inventions and none of the possibilities require a patent promotion organization.
If you're still unsure about how to market, manufacture, or promote your product, contact a business or patent attorney for advice. For more helpful patent information log onto the United States Patent and Trademark Office at www.uspto.gov.