Beware of Scammers! (part 2)
…WRITE A LETTER….
to any promotion, marketing or licensing company that seeks to help you and ask for answers to the TEN QUESTIONS listed below. Use common sense in evaluating the answers. If they don’t make sense, seek assistance from a patent attorney or agent or, the Office of Independent Inventor Programs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
You don’t have to write VentorBridge for this. The answers are on this page, following each suggested question.
VentorBridge re-emphasizes that it does not seek to promote, market or license your invention. We seek only to help you over as many of the “rough spots”as you choose, on your way from the first flash of invention to the issuance of a patent. Promoting and marketing are up to you, and we prefer to work with small businesses which already have this capability. Once your patent has issued, of course (assuming it does — there are no “sure things” in this game!) , you may license it to whomever you choose.
1. Total number of inventions evaluated for commercial potential in the past five years by the Company. How many of those evaluations were positive, accepted by the Company.How many were negative, rejected by the Company.
VentorBridge does not evaluate inventions for market potential. The patenting process may take anywhere from one to five years, and in that length of time many things can change. In our opinion, anyone who claims the ability to predict those changes should be off making a fortune in the stock market instead!
2. Total number of customers, known by the Company, who have received a net financial profit as a direct result of the Company’s promotion services. What is the Company’s success rate over the past five years [that is, the number of who made more money from their invention than they paid]?
Since VentorBridge does not offer promotion services, this question is irrelevant.
3. Names and addresses of all previous invention promotion companies with which the Company or its officers have collectively or individually been affiliated in the previous 10 years, and what other names has the Company used in this or other states?
None. We don’t associate with those people! VentorBridge is a new company, established in 2015. It has had no previous incarnations.
4. Total number of customers, known by the Company, to have received license agreements for their inventions as a direct result of the Company’s services. [lf the success rate is low, say less than 5%, then think about going elsewhere].
Since VentorBridge does not offer to help you license your invention, this question is irrelevant. The majority of our clients have been companies, rather than individuals, planning either to use the developed and patented technologies themselves or license them out to other companies.
5. How many customers have contracted with the Company for promotional services in the past 5 years; excluding those who have purchased trade show services research, advertising or other non-marketing service: and excluding those who have defaulted on payment to the Company.
Again, since VentorBridge does not offer promotion services this question is irrelevant.
6. Is there an up-front fee and, if so, how much is it and what are you getting for it? How much will the complete process cost from submission of my invention to obtaining a patent and a licensing agreement? [Reputable firms have relatively small, upfront or other fees because they make their real money from successful royalty arrangements for the inventions they accept].
VentorBridge’s policy is, apart from an initial deposit due when we return your signed Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA), to bill the project in stages, one for each “rough spot” we help you over. Payment for each stage is due only on satisfactory completion, as spelled out in the contract. As a single exception to this policy, some “up-front” money may be needed for reduction to practice, to allow purchase of materials and equipment not already on hand.
7. Has the Company ever been investigated by or been in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, any consumer protection agency or Attorney General’s Office and if so, when and where?
VentorBridge has not.
8. Who selects and pays for the patent attorney or agent to do the patent search, patentability opinion and patent application preparation? [You should be able to select your own, because the attorney or agent represents you, not the Company].
Please do this BEFORE you contact VentorBridge. We prefer to work as a team with an inventor and attorney who are already in a client/provider relationship, and we offer a discount on our initial deposit when the NDA is co-signed by a licensed and practicing patent attorney. If you would like a referral to a patent attorney we’ve worked with successfully many times in the past, however, please see our Affiliates page.
9. Provide you with the names, addresses and phone numbers of five clients of the Company in your geographical area and copies of all contracts and forms to review [Do this before signing or paying any money].
Our Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) and a sample contract are posted for your review. Note that the amounts shown in the contract are typical and may be adjusted either up or down, depending on the requirements and complexity of any given case. Note also this contract is for a fictitious project. All documents pertaining to actual past cases, apart from the issued patents themselves and the clients’ contact information if they’ve given us permission to share it on the Affiliates page, are considered confidential. (That NDA protects them the same way it’s meant to protect you.)
10. Does the Company provide a written opinion of the “marketability” (that is, potential success) of your invention?
VentorBridge does not. It is our sincere belief that our clients and prospective clients already know far more about that than we do!