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Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby PennyB » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:36 pm

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I am impressed that they let you know the risks involved.
==================================================

I'd never have believed it Roger - that you impress quite so easily (tongue in cheek)? Personally speaking for myself only and frankly as Gizmo mentioned, they have no choice on two fronts: abiding by govt rules and if they wish to keep their coffers overflowing.

What evidence is there they directly had anything to do with any alleged success? Based on all that has transpired from this entity in the past under the name ISC and compared now to all the complaints listed in Google under their new entity name (InventHelp), I'd want to speak with the
inventor(s) before believing anything written by any invention company's PR team that had anything to do with allegedly becoming a market success.

Moreover, how many poor sods paying through the nose has it taken before a single one allegedly became a success? Therefore, I reserve judgment based on a publicity release about a single product winner or make that fifty or more winners as each is hardly anything to boast about based on numbers of years in business and the thousands who pass through doors per year - or per month just because they switched from (got out from under) one corporate name to using another ---when the going got tough.

My two-cents!

P - :roll:

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Let-Them-Fly » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:04 am

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I noticed on October 25th, Inventors Digest ran a full article on InventHelp, obviously written by InventHelp, who claim they are re-inventing their company! LOL
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/?p=4937

I can't understand why Inventors Digest would provide space to a convicted and repeated scammer; are they that hard up for articles?

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Roger Brown » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:20 am

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Hi Penny :D

Believe me I am not giving them a free pass when I said I was impressed that they were more forth coming in their TV ad. I agree they are required to provide that information, but they are not required to give it out on the TV ad. They do have to provide that information prior to any money exchanging hands or if you ask for it, some even post it on their website, so that is what impressed me. But as I said:

It will be interesting to see how many Inventors actually take the warning versus the others that plung right in.


It is sad when you think about how desparate Inventors get to see their "baby" get to market that they are willing to blindly jump at any opportunity regardless of the cost.
It follows the same logic as people still buying cigarettes when they plainly have the dangers posted on the side of the pack. Your odds of getting cancer are higher than your odds of not getting Cancer, yet they still buy them.
The cigarette companies even pay for ads against smoking. But they know that even with all the facts out there telling you that it is a habit you should avoid people will still do it.
You could tell people that their car was rigged to possibly explode when you turned the ignition. You would still see people get in and drive taking the chance that it won't happen to them.
What does that say about us as a species?
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.

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Gizmo » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:10 am

Gizmo
 
FYI................

What’s up with the UIA and InventHelp?
« Just an Idea for all you TeachersInside INPEX and InventHelp »Four of nine United Inventors Association board members have quit or have said they are going to quit – three on Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the wake of a newsletter sent under the auspices of InventHelp, an invention-submission company viewed by many as an industry pariah.

The UIA and InventHelp, formerly Invention Submission Corp., have been longstanding industry foes. (See our special report.)

In the newsletter, which looks like it comes from the UIA, InventHelp encourages people to take advantage of a 50% discount to become UIA members. See a copy of the newsletter.

Patent attorney, founder of IPWatchdog blog and UIA vice president Gene Quinn quit the board publicly, citing what he felt was an inappropriate alignment with the UIA and InventHelp. Specifically, he was loathe to take part in a proposed “fact-finding” tour of InventHelp.

UIA executive director Patrick Raymond said today he’s sorry to see his “friend” resign. He added that InventHelp offered to send the newsletter encouraging UIA membership, and the UIA accepted.

“As the industry watchdog, it was our duty to get more information,” Raymond said of the proposed tour of InventHelp. “Many have been invited on that tour, including yourself. Gene was skeptical, supportive, and then scared. I think he believes even setting foot in the building would reflect badly on him. But that’s what watchdogs do, they oversee.”

(Raymond has asked me and Inventors Digest publisher Louis Foreman to take part in the tour. I’m interested in doing a story – again – on the invention-submission industry. I’m not interested in conducting my journalistic duty as part of a UIA tour. Foreman likewise has expressed no interest in joining this proposed tour.)

There’s an animated GIF on the bottom left corner of the newsletter. Gleaned from a 10-part video Web series shot at our building this year, the GIF cycles images and names of Foreman, By Kids For Kids founder and former UIA board member Norm Goldstein (who resigned earlier this year), marketing/licensing agent Trevor Lambert, and UIA president Ron Reardon.

The four represent key areas of the invention industry: publishing, youth innovation, intellectual property, and the UIA itself. None of those people pictured, with the possible exception of Ron Reardon, approved of their likenesses being used in the newsletter.

“There are 15 people in that miniseries,” said Raymond, who approved the content of the newsletter, prior to InventHelp hitting send. “Those four people were picked completely at random. You could take any of those 15 and find a pattern as well. I regret not having called those four, who had signed releases.”

Joe Lininger, director of marketing at InventHelp, said the first four subjects in the animated GIF from the UIA’s site were selected to keep the file size small enough for an e-mailing and that there was no selection process.

InventHelp paid a $1.2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in the 1990s for misrepresenting the success rate of its promotional services. InventHelp founder Martin Berger last year told Inventors Digest, “We really have gotten better. If you were to ask me the one thing that allowed this company to grow, it’s that FTC consent decree.”

The company has not had any run-ins with federal authorities since. Its ubiquitous cave-man ads continue to run on ESPN and other networks. Yet the company has been unable to shake a reputation that it preys on naive inventors, wresting escalating fees for what critics say are marketing materials of dubious value.

InventHelp president Bob Susa told Inventors Digest that, “Our success rate isn’t where we want it to be, but we keep getting better and better. We work really hard to market inventions. We have a lot of good stuff going on.”

He said product developer Jim DeBetta invited him to a meeting with invention-industry players at an event he hosted in Las Vegas earlier this year.

“(DeBetta) basically said, ‘Can we set aside rumors and innuendo and figure out ways to move forward in the industry?’ He and I had a long conversation. He asked me to come along, but couldn’t promise me what kind of reception I’d get.”

Susa said he and Reardon hit it off in Vegas.

“I really liked him,” Susa said of Reardon. “I thought he had some good ideas for the future of the UIA. I was able to talk to him about us and invited him and anyone he wanted to bring along to get to know us better.”

Susa said he had a subsequent conversation with Raymond, which went equally well. Susa said he offered to send a mailing on behalf of the UIA to InventHelp’s subscribers, which Susa said numbered 180,000.

“It was an olive branch to say, ‘Hey, we want to work with the UIA,’” Susa said. “I think (Raymond) is trying to grow his membership, which may not be enough to pay the bills. We didn’t try to take advantage of this for PR purposes. I feel terrible that he’s taking so much heat for this.”

UIA board member Bonnie Griffin Kaake officially resigned yesterday. Another board member told Inventors Digest yesterday he would resign. That has yet to happen, so we are not printing his name.

Reardon is traveling in Peru and is expected back on Monday, when Raymond said they’ll all address the imbroglio.

Raymond said there is no quid pro quo regarding InventHelp gaining certification, a program Raymond conceived to help bring invention companies “into compliance” with best business practices. See our story UIA Certified – Is It the Real Deal?

“This is a flap over an invitation” for a fact-finding tour, Raymond said. “Nothing has happened. (InventHelp) has not applied for certification.”

He added that the newsletter offer via InventHelp was a one-time event.

Inventors Digest will continue to monitor developments.

This article is provided through our partnership with Inventors Digest
To read the full article and join in on the discussion

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby jimdebetta » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:23 pm

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Hey everyone....

This is my first visit to this forum and thought I would comment on the story listed about InventHelp....

Since my name was mentioned in the posting, I thought it would be appropriate for me to say a few words:

- The business of inventing, like any other business in the world where money changes hands, is subject to scams, cons, and the like. This is true of most every industry in some form or fashion as unscrupulous players are everywhere in all areas of business

- Inventors are typically easy prey for scammers for one reason - they believe their invention is the next big thing and that with a few promises from someone that they could be the next millionaire inventor

- Fact is, most inventors never achieve any success from inventing as it is a high risk endeavor with many factors at play including marketability of the product, how it is priced, how it is packaged, how relevant or desirable it is, etc, etc. Also, there is limited space on retail store shelves so there can only be so many products each year that reach those shelves.

- I have been in this business a long time with a great reputation for "telling people like it is" and I can say that this article mentions some of my friends and colleagues including Ron Reardon and Louis Foreman who are of great integrity and a gift to the industry. Whether or not we host industry events and attempt to hear the opinions of companies that have been pegged as dishonest without talking to them one on one should be praised! My job and others in the industry is not to be judge and jury but to talk to everyone in our business and give each person and company a chance to explain themselves, talk openly, and allow the industry as a whole to grow and do well by the inventors and each other. I also know Bob Susa of InventHelp and he has gone out of his way to change the perception of his company and to disclose the high failure rate in the business and to be extra careful to advise inventors of their process and the success rate. That is all you can do in this business as NO ONE has a high success rate and if that were the case every other inventor would be sitting on a private island with all they earned from their inventions. I have no clue what Inventhelp was accused of in the past and so I look at what happens today in our industry and move forward. It is important that all inventors ask questions and "sleep on" any big decision they are planning to make -no different then if you are going to buy a new car or some other expensive something.

- Bottom line - until you actually speak with someone and get their side of the story one should not disparage anyone as what you say on the internet is permanent and can often really harm one's reputation....

Looking forward to many more posts and offering of advice to inventors!

Jim

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby stereo-vision » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:09 pm

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Her is a list of unscrupulous invention companies with the complaints listed by the name of the inventor, http://dcinventors.org/avoid_invention_scams.html The list is at the lower end of the page. You'll notice Invention Submission Co. leads the way, followed by Davison and Invent Help. You can click on the name of the inventor to read their complaints.This was posted on the Inventnet message board yesterday. BEWARE!

stereo-vision

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Let-Them-Fly » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:30 pm

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jimdebetta wrote:
>>Bottom line - until you actually speak with someone and get their side of the story one should not disparage anyone as what you say on the internet is permanent and can often really harm one's reputation....<<

It is all those consumer complaints and FTC actions that harmed their reputation, not what we're saying.

Oh, okay; I see...

With your position then, you'd certainly have no objections if the (ANY) invention submission company were required by law to furnish the inventor verifiable evidence (names, telephone numbers, times, receipts, etc) of the services they ask the inventor to pay for, and/or a verifiable itemized listing of the services rendered with verifiable (names, telephone numbers, times, receipts, etc) contact information of those contacted. You would agree that when it becomes apparent to the invention submission company the idea is not marketable, they contact the inventor and refund 80% of their monies. Surely you would agree the invention submission companies should openly state they retain a 20% non-refundable fee for their services, should the submission be rejected. The invention submission companies efforts should be subject to audit, and should it be determined that the company did not deliver what they promised or lead the inventor to believe, the inventor's money is refunded PLUS punitive damages... if the CEO objects and looses, he not only has to pay the money but also faces Federal prosecution.

You see, Jim, the BIG fear is being ripped by these sharks and having no recourse in the matter! The sharks go on the prowl for the next victim and the consumer is just sh*t out of luck! The "professionals" say: "He should have known better", "he should have been better educated".... well, the god almighty supeirior intelligence (inventor submission company) should know better than purposefully take advantage of a situation where they KNOW the inventor is behaving naively.

I'm a Funeral Director, and if a family goes to the State Board and demonstrates that I took financial advantage of them while they were in a vulnerable state, I will not only have my license permanently revoked, but depending on the dollar amount & situation, could go to prison! Because of these and other FTC and State rules, Funeral Directors have to TOE THE LINE when dealing with the public. (as it should be) If the ones at the invention submission companies were held under the SAME standard, the vast problem of scammers would be reduced to only those working in the alleys! ONLY when the bad guys are held accountable for their deception, will the public regain confidence!

It is noble for you and Inventors Digest to try and help salvage InventHelp's reputations, but there's a harsh truth you all are going to have to come to grips with sooner or later; If Jesus Christ bought out InventHelp the public STILL wouldn't trust them!

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Roger Brown » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:58 am

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Let me make it perfectly clear up front that I am not excusing, recommending or promoting any of these companies. But let me explain the double edged sword of this situation. Even if every company followed the law to the letter you would still have Inventors losing their money not just to these companies, but to the patent lawyers and the design companies, etc. Why? Because a vast majority of them are married to their idea, have tunnel vision, and will not listen to reason. I get contacted by Inventors all the time wanting me to review their “Million Dollar” idea that is either already out on the market or is blatantly obvious it is not marketable at all. They swear they have done hours of research checking on the idea and have found nothing out there like it. I spend less than 5 minutes online and find it is patented or already on the market. I send them the links to their product or the patent and they still swear theirs is different. One Inventor was so blinded that when I sent him the link to the same product they swore did not exist his reason that his product was still different than the one in the picture was his color was different. How do you deal with a person that is determined to go forward no matter what evidence you present them with?

I had a person pay one of the invention submission companies $6,000 and had a nicely bound presentation book showing their product and detailing all the features of the product. It was an automotive product. They proudly showed me what they were moving forward with and told me how they were having production samples made. Within 10 seconds of seeing the product I told them they were already selling at Wal-Mart, Advanced Auto, and Auto Zone. He angrily told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and I just wanted to steal his idea. So, I told him to follow me to Wal-Mart. He was stunned when we walked into the automotive section of Wal-Mart and right there on the shelf was his product. I asked him if he had looked in any of these stores for his product before spending the money. He said No. His wife did the majority of the shopping he just looked online. The problem was the search term he used didn’t really fit the product so he didn’t see one. I told him that part of my research is to go to any store that would carry that type of product and see what is currently out there. So, in that case who do you hold responsible?

I have had people show me items you could patent, but no one would buy it, either because it was just useless, or it didn’t really solve the problem they were trying to address, or there was already a better option on the market that would make their product obsolete. That is why I am always stressing “Patentable does not equal marketable.”

If you go to a patent lawyer and say "I want you to do a patent search and patent edible sneakers for me." You are paying them for a service and if they deny you that service you can report them to the state bar and cause them to lose their license. Plus, they will just leave you and find another patent lawyer to do the search. Now, lets say the patent lawyer tries to talk you out of it saying in their opinion edible sneakers are not marketable and you are wasting your money. The Inventor takes the patent lawyers advice and walks away. Five months later the Inventor sees edible sneakers on sale at the neighborhood store. What will be the Inventors first reaction? They will want to sue the patent lawyer for talking them out of what would have been a lucrative venture had they filed the patent as they requested.
The same can be said of grocery stores. If you weigh 400lbs and go into a grocery store and load your cart up with every snack food known to man and go to the register to check out. Now the cashier looks at you and the overflowing cart of snack food. Can he refuse to ring you up, because in his opinion if he lets you purchase these items you are just killing yourself? No, he can’t because it is your right to spend your money however stupidly you want too. If he mentions you might want to rethink buying all this junk food he is putting his job on the line.

The best way to avoid getting ripped off or making dumb decisions is through getting off your butt doing the boring, time consuming research before you drop one dollar on the idea. I have a two page nondisclosure I ask people to sign before they send me anything to review. Take a look at it below. You see my name and address and the blank lined area so they can put their name and address in it? I even tell them in my email for them to make sure and put their name and address in the blank lined are at the top of the first page. Do you know how many people send me the two pages back with this spot left blank? Over 85%. The sad thing is that this is the first paragraph of the agreement. So, should I feel they bothered to read anything on the two pages or did they skip right to the signature spot on the last page?


This Mutual Agreement (this “Agreement”) is made by Roger Brown, P.O. Box 7122, North Augusta, SC 29861 and
__________________________________________________________________it is necessary and desirable that each party to this agreement may disclose certain proprietary information to the other party to this agreement.


These same Inventors are so desperate to get their idea to market they only hear or see what they want to see and hear. They are not interested in anything that is negative or stops them from their goal. Think about it, only 3% of patented items get to market. That means 97% paid for a patent and that is as far as it got. There are a number of factors of why it didn’t make it to market, but the end result is that a patent lawyer or attorney got paid for their work and someone has a piece of paper saying the item was patented.
If more Inventors got off their butts and did some of the research themselves that number would shrink because they would see that going for a patent was not realistic. The more Inventors that do their research up front would see they don’t need to go to a invention submission company because their idea is not marketable and the number paying a invention submission company would shrink.
It is all a part of economics, if the demand shrinks the price goes down. A company making millions from uninformed Inventors cannot sustain itself if no one is using them. Inventors need to learn more about the business before jumping in. There are plenty of sites like this one offering helpful information. The time to find these sites is not after you have already signed a contract with an invention submission company or patent lawyer, but before.
In my opinion is it immoral for companies to take advantage of your hopes and dreams, YES. But, a judge will tell you there is a big difference between immoral and illegal. That is why you have the phrase “Buyer Beware”.
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.

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby jimdebetta » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:58 am

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Funeral director huh? Interesting business....my family owned a retail store right next door to a funeral parlor when I was a kid and I clearly remember walking over there many times and seeing people being "prepped" or just in the place - scary when you are a kid!!

As for this whole situation, all I am saying is that people and companies both must take responsibility for their actions. So, knowing that the risks are very high in this business, as long as the inventor is fully aware of those risks and understands how their money is being spent and that the outcome is not likely to result in big success then they then need to proceed at their own risk and not cry foul when their invention does not make it to the store shelves. It is always easy to blame others when the outcome does not suit us and we want "revenge" or "justice" as we are emotionally hurt as well as financially hurt. I am not here to judge any person or situation without being directly involved or privy to sensitive info so I let others do that stuff. For me, I just feel that inventors need to learn the real risks and not always blame everyone else when their invention does not succeed. Sure, no one should attempt to take advantage of another but once again if an inventor is advised of the risks, knows what he/she is getting into, then they wrote their check and cannot expect refunds when their product does not make it. That is like telling your lawyer to refund money when you lose the court case, or asking your doctor for a refund because you did not get better, etc, etc. It is about disclosure and transparency and when both sides understand each other then it is proceed with caution and let the chips fall where they may.....

Great discussion!

Jim

Re: InventHelp.com Scam article

Postby Gizmo » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:28 am

Gizmo
 
Jim,

After reading your post yesterday something just didnt sit right in my gut with one of your comments. So I decided to wait and see if anyone else comments on your post. It just so happens Let-Them-Fly "Frank" did and had a problem with the exact comment that I did. See below.

jim debetta wrote:Bottom line - until you actually speak with someone and get their side of the story one should not disparage anyone as what you say on the internet is permanent and can often really harm one's reputation.

Jim dont you think InventHelp tried there best to convince the FTC that the facts and charges against the company were bogus ? Are you saying the FTC and the inventor facts could be wrong or "are" wrong after you talked to the owner of InventHelp ?
If thats the case maybe the charges and conviction the FTC slapped Davison and Associates with could be wrong.
Maybe all the bad info about AbsolutleyNew is all bogus also,I dont know to much about them except for what Ive read.

http://www.inventright.com/forums/topic.php?id=57
Last edited by Gizmo on Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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