In the previous blog – Why Most Inventors Fail – Inventor Greed Kills the Deal, I discussed that all too often a promising licensing deal founders because of inventor greed: insisting on higher royalties than those being offered without attempting to understand limitations the manufacturer faces.

Another prime reason why most inventors fail – they fall victim to predatory invention-marketing companies.

There are legions of companies, often described as invention-marketing companies, who lure cash strapped inventors with the swan song of your product can make millions. After “investing” $10,000 – $50,000 of precious capital, the inventors realize that they have been sold a rather expensive bill of goods.

There are a few legitimate resources that assist inventors in marketing or licensing their products among an ocean of bad players or predators. Is there a way to separate the good resources from the predators?

Yes there is – focus more on what they do than on what they say.

Good resources typically have the following characteristics:

• Charge only a small evaluation fee initially (often $200)
• Most have no further fees, they take a portion of any royalties if successful
• Have a very high rejection rate – often over 90%
• Do not advertise their services on TV or radio – minimal advertising pitch
• Can provide proof of successful products in the marketplace and don’t mind doing so

Predators typically have the following characteristics:

• Claim to provide a broad swath of services from patents, trademarks, marketing, to licensing
• Claim to have relationships with “all of the big box retailers”
• Charge little or no evaluation fee, but request large outlays for “marketing campaigns”
• Have 100% acceptance rate – every product proposed is seen as a “hit” in the marketplace
• Advertise heavily on TV, radio and other media – make grandiose claims of success
• Provide no proof of successful inventions – instead they insist that is “proprietary” information

Good resources charge small evaluation fees to offset their costs and to avoid wasting time and resources with inventors who want everything for free. They reject most inventions because either they either don’t see potential for success or they don’t feel they have the resources to make the inventions successful. They rarely advertise because they don’t need to – they are overwhelmed with requests for assistance because they can point to successful projects. Put more simply: they invest their own resources into each project so they take on only those where the chances for success seem good.

I provided a list of what I consider good resources in a previous post.

Predators, on the other hand, should be more accurately labeled as “inventor marketing companies.” They aren’t marketing for inventors, but rather to them.

They advertise heavily to attract many potential clients (inventors). They claim to assist with almost any potential need (and charge substantially for all “services”). They allude to grand and sweeping success for inventors, but never provide any proof of their success. Lastly, their contracts when closely scrutinized, actually don’t promise to provide anything that is concrete or objective – the contracts are replete with vague terms such as “help,” “assistance,” “services” etc. As a result, when an inventor attempts to sue them to recover bilked funds, they are shocked to discover the predators have done nothing illegal – only unethical. Courts of law can sanction or punish those who commit fraud and other objectively illegal acts, but have no remedy for unethical or deceptive behavior.

Stay tuned!