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I currently have a company working on the last stage in order to start marketing and filing for utility patent to get royalty contracts from manufactures for my invention. Im having problems finding investors or finding funds to pay $7,000.00 to start this process. Can you help me?

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U WROTE:
I currently have a company working on the last stage in order to start marketing and filing for utility patent to get royalty contracts from manufactures for my invention. Im having problems finding investors or finding funds to pay $7,000.00 to start this process. Can you help me?
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Morning Robin,

I get asked this question from some of my inventor club members and weekly receive calls for help from inventors to find funders:

1. Firstly, before you pay for the "last stage of marketing and filing for a Utility Patent" please, please, please just check the Extreme Caution List on Inventored.org to see if the company who wants monies upfront is on it. That said, I've got around thirty other invention marketing companies to add to that list some day so if you don't find the company on it, kindly send me a private email with the name of the company as likely I have a ton of research on them already "if" they want monies from inventors BEFORE delivery of anything. Go www.inventored.org/caution/extreme   

If you don't find their name on it, go to www.ripoffreport.org  then enter their company name in the search box. If you don't find them there, go the patent office complaint page to see if they are on it: http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/scam_prevention/complaints/index.jsp

If you still do not find their name, email me as likely I may have a lot of research on them as I've been keeping a database for around ten years on these outfits as a result of inventors
complaints approximately a year after they paid and/or just before their contracts are about to expire. They all have "syrupy" phone sales reps who want to be paid upfront versus act as a "partner" before they deliver their outdated market research usually found on the web for free. Them, they take a percentage. And most do not allow one to verify the names of companies they are told are most interested in their invention or are not told of who they are.

If you haven't received a copy of their Contract yet, you should ask to review it word by word. You'll likely find the company guarantees nothing and does not allow one to contact any companies who allegedly express an interest to them in one's invention. To receive monies fast, they usually tell potential clients BEFORE they get paid, we have X company(ies) interested in your invention so get the monies to us ASAP or we may lose them. The truth is there are no companies because these outfits DO NOT contact anyone BEFORE they've been paid and even them, they use list one can find or make from off of the web. Usually they're extracted from www.thomasregister.net  - but one is told their company contact names are "proprietary" whereas they are listed on the above site and other sites.

NOW LET'S GET TO YOUR QUESTION:

Usually in round one seeks funds from FFF"s (friend, family and fools) and one may have to leverage assets one has. Usually banks want collateral. It would very, very rare for a stranger to advance one funds without some form of collateral. However, there's also Licensing especially if one has a decent working prototype and the device is over the top in terms of novelty etc. If it's got a short shelf (let's say seasonal) life, it would be ridiculous to pay and invention company.

Now, one does NOT have to apply for a formal Utility patent from the get-go. How about "you" writing and filing a simple "Provisional Application for Patent"? You write down what it is, how it works and provide a sketch then pay a sum of $125 to file it at the US Patent and Trademark Office. One can even take the documents to a Post Office (authorized patent office agent" and file it using Express Mail. The moment the clerk signs the mailing label for the Express Mail envelope the device is in "patent pending" for a year! After it's filed your invention would be in "patent pending" for a year. A Provisional is a forerunner to a Utility patent buying one time to make or find monies to have written and filed a formal via a licensed patent agent (usually cheaper than an attorney) or a patent attorney or there are some web sites where one "fills in the blanks" and for a few hundred dollars they file a Utility patent application for one. Another point: one does not pay an invention marketing company for a patent application. One MUST pay "directly" funds to a patent agent or patent attorney (if one chooses them over online web sites). Invention marketing companies are usually not also licensed patent agents or attorneys. In other words, if you are not "directly" paying an Agent or an Attorney you need to run the other way - it's also illegal!! If they have one "in-house" it's very easy to confirm if they are registered or not (as opposed to be paralegals or not really filing a formal Utility merely a Provisional Application for Patent.

Finally, as I've mentioned, if one doesn't have Friends and Family or assets to leverage, then it's time to directly contact potential manufacturers (with distribution lines) who may be interested in viewing your invention AFTER they sign your "Non Disclosure, Non Compete Agreement". One does not have to pay $7000-$30,000 for the help of an invention company. That money can be used by you to later file via an Agent or Attorney a formal Utility application, that is, "if" your invention qualifies for one.

And, by the way, keep away from invention marketing company "patent searches".........more likely than not they have a clerk in their back office using www.google.com/patents to research "prior art" and, of course, they never find anything. For $250 one can have a professional patent search firm conduct a formal patent search which should accompanied by a written legal opinion indicating it's more likely than not one's invention may be patentable.

Anyway, sorry I can't say who might be interested in what you have especially since I've no idea its basic product category.

Regards,
Penny Ballou
pballou@aol.com  

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Penny Ballou

Expertise

The Invention Process; Royalties; Licensing Inventions/Products; Pricing; Direct to Market; Marketing/Promotions; Patent Searching; DIY patent writing; Types of patents/costs/how to's; Funding (grants and Angel investors); Prototyping; Off-Shore sourcing.

Experience

I am founder of an inventors group; Advisory Board President of www.inventored.org; former Licensing Executive Society member; researcher for www.piausa.org and a consultant; plus moderate and contribute to several online inventor discussion groups.

Publications
Enter my email address into any search engine to find them.

Education/Credentials
Invention development: well-studied and applied in all aspects of the process and an inventor myself with one invention in patent pending and others ramping up. Lived and attended schools in Mainland China and the UK.

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