Consumer Protection
en Español

How to Protect Yourself: Invention Promotion Firms
Source: Florida Attorney General's Office


If you have developed a new idea for a product and wish to get it manufactured and marketed, legitimate invention promotion firms may be able to assist you in finding a suitable manufacturing company. Some invention promotion firms, however, do little more than promote their own interests by taking your money and giving you nothing in return. So BE CAUTIOUS.

Question success and rejection rates.
Question the firm about its success and rejection rates. Success rates show the number of clients who made more money from their invention than they paid to the firm. Rejection rates reflect the percentage of all ideas or inventions that were found unacceptable by the promotion company. Be wary of a firm that refuses to disclose this information.

Require documentation of claims.
Be wary of firms that claim to have special access to independent manufacturers looking for new products, but refuse to document such claims.

Beware of large up-front fees or charges.
Ask, at the outset, what the total cost of these services will be. Beware of firms that require you to pay a large up-front fee.

Investigate the company. Before making any commitments, investigate the invention promotion company. Call your local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, and Attorney General to find out if there are any consumer complaints about the firm.

Find out the qualifications and methodology of company evaluators.
Be cautious of an invention promotion firm that offers to review or evaluate your invention but refuses to disclose details about its criteria, system of review, or the qualifications of company evaluators.

Require the firm to check on existing invention patents.

Beware of high pressure sales tactics.

Closely examine the contract. Make sure that your contract contains all agreed-upon terms, written and verbal, before you sign it. If possible, have the agreement reviewed by an attorney.

Be skeptical of claims.
No reputable firm would guarantee your invention's success.