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Postby Michelle » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:30 pm

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Myra:

Curious as to what you biggest concerns with them are?

Postby Myra Per-Lee » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:17 pm

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Sure, Michelle...

First, the inventor must sign an agreement that generally gives him/her no rights. The company, however, gets to see whatever the inventor has drawn, described, and prototyped. The company doesn't have to return these items, doesn't have to respond to the submission, and can disclose whatever it learns from the inventor's idea to others, without restriction.

Additionally, the company doesn't have to disclose any projects in development that may coincide or overlap with the inventor's idea, nor any information about other inventor submissions related to the idea.

The real kicker, though, is that by submitting your idea "blindly" to a company, you agree to negotiate with the company for the rights to your invention. This stipulation, effectively, keeps you from licensing or selling your idea to another company while you're waiting for an indication from the first company.

Which card does the inventor hold in this game? The joker?

No thanks!

There are even more reasons I advise inventors not to submit, but I'm gong to save them for a future article. Smile.
Myra Per-Lee
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Postby Michelle » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:22 pm

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Thanks for the analysis.

I'd be curious to hear Roger's thoughts on this. Roger do you agree?

Michelle

Reply to Myra

Postby Roger Brown » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:38 pm

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I agree with Myra to a point. She is correct you are sending something blindly, but even if you have it patented you are still sending it blindly and still relying on that company to treat you fairly in reviewing your idea. There is nothing stopping a company from looking at your patented idea, saying "No thanks" to the idea and coming out with their own version changed slightly so that they don't infringe on your patent. Look at how many copycats there are on the market. Some companies don't even hide the fact they ripped off your idea.
Knockoffs happen all the time to patent protected ideas. Look at your massager items, they are great, but do you think it would be hard for a company to knock those off and not infringe on your patent?
Unless you are Disney or Coca-Cola witha armey of lawyers on retainer you con't afford to fight every company that rips off your idea. I am not saying you couldn't fight it and possibly win, but at what cost. Did you really win if you spent all of your royalties paying a lawyer?

As for the signing away your rights. I have never signed a nondisclosure form that said I could not contact other companies until they said yes or no first. All of the companies I approach don't care if you do multiple submissions. I let them know up front taht I plan on submitting this idea to as many companies as possible until I find one willing to take it on. This sometimes prompts a company to make up their mind quicker because they don't want someone else getting it.

I have read your article so I know you don't like the rip off invention submission companies anymore than I do. But the points you made in your message about not submitting to these companies blindly is what the invention submission companies use to put fear into every inventor making them feel that unless their idea is patented they will automatacally get ripped off. That is why inventors spend thousands getting a patent on something that may or may not get to market.

I have never spend over $100 on any item that I have gotten picked up and licensed. That price includes phone calls, faxing, Postage and possibly a prototype. I have a product coming out in February of 2007 that I spent a total of $10 on before I got it licensed. That company is paying for the patent. I may be the exception to the rule, but my system works.

If you go to my website all of the inventions you see there were done for under $100 out of my pocket. I did two-dimesional drawings on all of them and was able to get them to market. I research the companies before I submit andthing to them. I also get nondisclosures prior to submitting any idea.

If I followed the traditional method and lets say I get a provisional patent of each idea at $100 each. I have over 240 concepts I am working with. That would cost me $24,000. Now I have also started a time clock that I have 1 year to get them all to market or file for a full patent. If I don't file for the full patent they become public domain and I lose them all.
I don't know how much most people make. but from the people you saw on The American Inventor show most were in debt past their butt on one invention.
All of this would also be done without me having shown the idea to one company yet. Realistically the average person could not afford to do all of this. So, unless Bill gates wants to back all of my ideas I am stuck doing it as cheaply and quickly as possible.
I think the majority of Inventors are fed up with the system as it stands right now because it is set up against them. Most Inventors don't even know where to start. That is why the inventor submission companies find them easy prey.

Postby Myra Per-Lee » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:21 pm

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Hi Roger...

Whoa! I never wrote anything about provisional patents or patenting.

There are companies listed as inventor-friendly in this discussion group. If you read their contracts, they contain no protection for the inventor, only the company. That is typical of companies accepting "blind," or unsolicited ideas.

You say that you have gotten non-disclosures from companies you licensed; well, that's great, but then you didn't sign one of the contracts like those listed here. When you submit something "blindly," you don't get a non-disclosure statement. You may get nothing but false hopes and disappointment.

I commend you for achieving your goals your way. We are on the same page.
Myra Per-Lee
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For medical device type inventions

Postby Michelle » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:38 pm

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For Kitchen Items

Postby Michelle » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:38 pm

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Nondisclosures

Postby Roger Brown » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:02 am

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Hi Myra,

Thanks for the reply. I know you didn't mention patenting or provisional patents. I was just stressing that it is the normal pitch of every invention submission company to get you hooked into their system. Once they get that ball rolling they go for the design or prototype fees and so on.

I never send anything to any company without first getting a nondisclosure signed and in hand. As you say some companies write them slanted more toward protecting themselves. If you owned the company your first preference would be to cover yourself any way possible. There are to many sue happy people out there that have made it that way.

More and more companies are opening up to outside ideas from Inventors because it is cheaper than paying an inhouse research and development staff full time. Also, they are finding that freelance Inventors seem to have a more creative approach than their inhouse staff.

You mentioned some of the companys listed in the discussion. I have dealt with Hogwild toys, Black and Decker and Rubbermaid. They have all acted professionally and been very helpful with comments on my submissions. I have talked with Black and Deckers legal group on a number of occasions and they have never given me any reason to doubt their intentions.
I have been dealing with some companies that feel comforatble enough to send me wish lists asking for product ideas in a certain area. We both agree these are on spec. If they don't find anything of interest they know I will take those same ideas and send them to other companies to see if I can get them licensed.

One failing I have seen with Inventors is being highly paranoid. I believe in covering your bases, but you don't want to cover them so hard you can't submit your ideas because you are afraid everyone is out to rip you off. With inventing everything is a gamble. You are gambling that your idea is the one they want. You are gambling that they will be honest with you in the contract and pay you accordly. You are gambling that they will do a quality job on your product and push it as hard as you would to get the most sales possible.

The biggest gamble of all is you are trusting people that you have never met because most of your contact is over the phone or by email.

Submitting inventions to Rubber Maid

Postby inventoy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:43 am

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Hi Michelle,

I made some enquires to Rubbermaid. Their legal people said that your invention must be patented or 'design patent applied for' before they will look at it. Don't know if anyone has had a different response?

I have also tried submitting to Black and Decker (UK) and they said pretty much the same thing.

Thanks,

Inventoy

Rubbermaid and Black and Decker

Postby Roger Brown » Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:11 am

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I have dealt with both companies and have sent them concepts that were not patented or provisional patented. They reviewed them and I had several held for further testing by both Below is the form you fill out for Newell/Rubbermaid and Black and Decker. Maybe you got connected to the wrong dept.

http://www.goody.com/documents/NCDA.pdf


http://www.blackanddecker.com/CustomerC ... Ideas.aspx
Come visit my sites at http://www.RogerBrown.net
or http://www.looking2license.com
I have gotten 9 products licensed spending less than $100 on each, you can too.
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