IAMD--- Inventors Association of
Lawrence Technological University-
21000 W. Ten Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075
Interested in Membership?
When: The third Thursday of the month from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Lawrence Tech University (See map links on the home page).
Speaker: Our monthly speakers are identified on the home page.
There is a $5 guest fee to attend the meetings (but your first visit is free and annual membership is $30).
Come join us at the next meeting!
The meetings are for the benefit of our members and guests, they consist of some or all of the following:
Everyone “signs in”, when you sign in you are signing a non-disclosure agreement (what happens at the meetings, stays at the meetings).
There is some networking time at the start of the meeting to talk with others about projects and ideas.
Our members are at all stages of the invention process, from having an idea to successful inventors/entrepreneurs, friendly like minded people, willing and eager to network, share resources and offer advice.
We have a guest speaker each month, covering a wide range of topics such as, inventing, the process from idea, to marketing your products and IP (intellectual property) protection.
We have announcements for a variety inventor subjects.
Question and answer session, where anyone can present questions to the group.
More networking, one on one or small groups, or maybe getting more in depth information from someone who answered your question.
Beware of inventor traps.
Inventors, be cautious about invention submission companies! While some of them are legitimate, some will take your hard earned money for information you can easily get on your own.
Don't be afraid of getting help, but learn the process of taking your product to market before making costly mistakes.
Don't spend your hard earned money unwisely, learn what you can do to reduce costs, even if you seek outside help.
Invention Promotion Firms: What to look for
Article written by Marty Sovis, President of The Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan.
During our last meeting we had a lot of discussion about Invention Promotion Firms which included a personal account by one of our members who was scammed by a firm. I would like to dedicate this month’s comments to give our members a short guide or basic set of rules to keep in mind when searching for assistance in developing an idea. Most of this information is taken from an article written by Bob Lougher, from the Inventors Awareness Group, written in the Inventor’s Resource Guide in 1997. The items are still true today. I have put in a few additions based on the year’s I have dealt with inventor groups gleaning the items to be aware of.
There are numerous ways to verify the credibility of any firm that you contemplate doing business with.
1. Contact the Attorney General’s office of the state in which they are headquartered for any complaints against that firm.
2. Disregard the Better Business Bureau which is a paid membership organization. Fraudulent invention marketing firms
routinely settle complaints out of court, thereby maintaining a clean report. Also the Chamber of Commerce is a paid
membership organization that was created to promote the business of its paid members. Though both organizations
have benefits, they may not be the one’s to contact for the credibility of members.
3. Insist that the invention marketing firm provide to you in writing the number of inventions the firm has represented and
the number of inventors that have made more money that they invested.
4. Ask what are the various names they have done business under. It is commonplace for disreputable companies to
reopen using a different name when they have been in trouble legally.
5. Find out how long they have been in business under their present name.
6. Find out if they or their affiliates were a party to Federal Trade Commission punitive actions.
7. If there is a free evaluation of your idea, request in writing the number of ideas that have been submitted to them for
evaluation and the percentage of those ideas that they accepted. Some firms will tell you they have evaluated the merit
and marketability of your idea, when in fact they have not.
8. Find out if they are licensed to operate in your state.
9. Request the names and addresses of inventors living in your area that the firm has represented. Don’t be misled by
statements such as “Due to the confidential nature of the business, we are not allowed to do that”, “ The FTC will not
allow us to do that”. You’re not trying to steal their clients idea, you want the firm’s credibility.
10. Know that Invention Submission Firms make their money from the fees they charge you. Some tell you they will share in the costs, but when your up-front investment is $3,000 to $12,000 and their costs for services are in the neighborhood
of $1000, they share no risk. Before you sign with a marketing firm, read the fine print, don’t sign off your rights, make
sure you are free to void the agreement and leave with your idea. Don’t be impressed by their brochures and reports
about your product, most information is “boiler plate” data with your name and item inserted. Don’t be misled by the
number of pages in the report; it is the quality of information not the quantity.
11. Finally, a couple of websites you can go to that give information on scam companies and things to be cautious of: