What is an Invention Submission Company?

An invention submission company is a company that advertises to inventors as a service to help an inventor navigate the USPTO patenting system, to help them market their idea, and to get access to manufacturers so that the inventor’s idea can be mass produced. Inventors are understandably intimidated by the process to get an idea patented, much less marketed. Invention submission companies are an attractive alternative to someone who doesn’t know where to begin.

As a patent attorney, I believe that a patent attorney or agent is the better choice to help you get a patent. In order to have the skills to work on your patent application, a patent attorney or agent must take a 3000 page open book exam focused solely on patents. A patent attorney or agent must understand the Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (the MPEP) produced by the USPTO, must stay current on case law, and must be aware of the nuances that can make a difference on your patent application.

During the course of my practice, I have seen clients who have hired an invention submission company, and who want to stay with the invention submission company. So, then if the client wants to stay with an invention submission company, some hard questions must be asked.

a) Is there a non disclosure agreement (i.e. do you have a binding contract by the invention submission company to agree not to sell or pinch your idea?)What are the terms of the agreement?

b) What is the invention submission company’s rate of success? If the invention submission company has 3000 clients, but no actual patents issued, you may want to consider whether this is the company that you want to spend your hard earned dollars at.

c) Who is doing the work on your patent application? is there a patent attorney or agent reviewing the work to make sure that it complies with USPTO protocols and procedures? What kind of search are they doing about your idea? Did you get a letter in writing about your search results that is signed by a registered patent attorney or agent?

d) Does the invention submission company promise to produce for you a virtual prototype? If so, what is that? Is that a sketch on a computer, or is that a prototype that is mailed to your house? What are your expectations for your return from your investment? How much do you expect to pay the invention submission company?

e) What mechanisms is the invention submission company using to market your product? Are they cold calling manufacturers? What types of inventions does the company take? Are they going to the trade shows? Who are their contacts in the manufacturing companies that you want to produce your goods?

f) What is the time table that the invention submission company is promising you? Does the invention submission company tell you that you must have a trademark before you can get a patent? Does the invention submission company take the time to explain the difference between a trademark, a patent, and copyright? Does the invention submission company explain the time line of how long it takes to get a patent, and what phases occur when getting a patent? Does the invention submission company ask you if you have a business plan? Does the invention submission company explain the difference between provisional application nad non provisional application?

written by PermalinkLeave a Comment »

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

« Back to Home